Over Memorial Day Weekend, I ventured to Northeast Texas to prepare for my mother’s estate sale. (She’s still with us, thankfully!) On the drive from the airport, I saw these beauties–the late-spring flowers of my youth.
The large white flowers brought to mind this poem (below), by Mary Leslie Newton. This is the poem that my mother used to read to me from the old Childcraft encyclopedia set purchased for me by my late paternal grandmother. Little did I know then that Newton lived in Dallas and worked as a teacher in the early 1900s, making it possible that she drew inspiration from the same fields of white flowers that captivated my mother and me.
Queen Anne, Queen Anne, has washed her lace
(She chose a summer’s day)
And hung it in a grassy place
To whiten, if it may.
Queen Anne, Queen Anne, has left it there,
And slept the dewy night;
Then waked, to find the sunshine fair,
And all the meadows white.
Queen Anne, Queen Anne, is dead and gone
(She died a summer’s day),
But left her lace to whiten in
Each weed-entangled way!
Such a treat to experience the flowers again after so many springs spent elsewhere.
May you enjoy the wildflowers near you this summer!
• Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center