only lupine grows now

alyssa hanna



you never watered your plants

but you insisted on weeding your garden bare

soil with occasional tulip head

whimpering as it listened to dandelions

have their bodies severed their

legs still standing beneath the ground

you did not listen to them even

though you heard them

neighbors were overgrown their hedges

untrimmed wild green arms extending



property lines and you screamed how

dare they you cut the branches

measured where their yard legally

ended and where yours legally began

the flowers howling mourning weeping and

you did not care everything must be

orderly neat nothing unnecessary

just a clear garden with a chair

no one is allowed to sit in and i



made a bouquet for you of dandelions

mixed with my mother’s hyacinths

azaleas the purples and yellows

complimenting each other you had

taught me about complementary colors

but when you were presented with the bouquet

you found it undesirable disorderly

an uneven number looks good in art not life

haven’t i told you to keep

your art on the page not to spill

markers onto the table to wear a belt

and pin your jeans not to wear black



with blue you will look like a bruise

and what is this bruise this yellow this weed

this thing unwanted even by the ground

who grew it and the god who planted it

this family is roses we must also be the thorns



alyssa hanna graduated from Purchase College in 2016 with a degree in Creative Writing with a minor in History. Her poems have appeared in Reed Magazine, The Mid-American Review, The Naugatuck River Review, Rust + Moth, and others. She was nominated for a 2017 Pushcart Prize and was a finalist in the 2017 James Wright Poetry Competition. alyssa is an aquarium technician by day and lives in Westchester with her fish and lizards. Follow her on twitter and instagram @alyssawaking