Ode to Chicory by Matthew Mayberry

When I saw you walking, I just, I worried for your soul.” – good neighbor


I would like to unfurl

in the morning the way

the chicory unfurls from

its bed of goldenrod

and lace. To blink

in the first rays, drenched

in dew, and move

slow as old bones

toward the sun. To lie

among the vulgar

filth, wreathed

in the gentle fumes of

the early commute, and

still to make a meadow

of every ditch. To carry an

elegance serrated

on the world’s other

plans, then line the turn-

pikes in the world’s

other plans. I would

like to suck down

the crass pickings

of brown-fenced

evangelism and nod

off at noon to the green

dyed recommendations

of a learned vehicle. To unfurl

again in the morning

the way the chicory

unfurls, bud by bud

in ardent blue, and flower

through the bitter

autumn like the good

weeds do.


Matthew Mayberry lives in Columbus, Ohio and attends the Ohio State University. He enjoys swimming in lakes, walking, and comedy open mics. His poetry idols are Jack Spicer, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, and Ross Gay.