My Zinnias Grow Like Good Intentions
I apologize as I stand before them this morning, garden shears in hand. Because I planted their seed in diminished sun, the only sun in our shaded yard. Because they grow thick and misshapen, racing across earth toward the two o'clock light, curving and breaking for the brittle ceiling of my expectations. Because my assumptions have been so wrong. How they think. How they feel. How they synthesize their wisdom into endless blooms. Because summer's blazed relentless, our discontent settling like the humid air. Because men arrived with weapons. Because a car can be a weapon. Because the violence of politics. Because the politics of violence.
This world careens every moment in drastic misdirections of belief. And aren't we all to blame? I've made the mistake of speaking softly; of speaking too little; of speaking too much. The zinnias have stood night after night bearing the weight of their heavy heads. They face another frenzied day of sweat bees, duskywings, hummingbirds. And now they know I've come again to ask more: To bleed not. To endure the pain. To turn that pain into keeping on. To grow across the whole damn yard to spite me. Imperfect in the half-light. Furious in their vivid hope.
Kory Wells is the author of Sugar Fix, a poetry collection available from Terrapin Books this month (September 2019), and the chapbook Heaven Was the Moon (March Street Press, 2009). A former software developer, she’s now on her second act as a writer, storyteller, and advocate for the arts, democracy, and other good causes. In 2017 she was selected the inaugural Poet Laureate of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where she manages a reading series and open mic. Sample more of her published work at korywells.com, or connect with her on social media: