Pampas Grass in Autumn

The pampas grass stands tall and proud in the late fall fields and gardens,
strong still before the bitter winds of winter come.
Deceptive beauty its game,
the feathery silver plumes wave softly in the breeze.
Its razor-sharp leaves send a message defending against a truth
that it will be dormant soon after the frost comes.

Thriving both here in a northern garden
and in the pampas of South America,
it’s oblivious to damp soil or rocky areas,
adapting easily to all surroundings,
its height only part of its power.
Clinging in tussocks, it gains strength in unity.

It’s a mixture of good and bad, they say,
like so many of us.
Praised for its ornamental beauty,
(the female plant showier than the male),
but maligned as a prolific, invasive spreader,
it has learned to survive despite adversity.

Subtle weapons ready,
the filmy plumes of the pampas grass
offer to mankind a silent lesson in resilience.

Photo Elwood W. McKay III