My mother’s secret garden – Judy Swann

How round your name is, Miriam, mira
your tulip, calla, daisy, comfrey crown,
your knobby peach pulsing light like Hera,
its surfeit a challenge to all the known nouns,
the globe of its strange normalcy, the sound
of roundness, of gladness and how I crave things round

And black, like this starless wakefulness,
this distant indigo idea bearing on me
and my shadowy memory’s vastness, where your playfulness
cups the black depths of me, the sweet
black plums from the world before I was born
and the lilac unicorns of black-red morning glories

and the black grapes from this volcano-made ground
where the soil illuminates and sends me round.

Judy Swann is a poet and essayist. Her work includes Fool (Kelsay Books, 2019) and Stickman (John Young, 2019). She lives in Ithaca, NY and is rewriting Boethius’s Consolation as a feminist utopia. See her other work at judith marie brugger swann.

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