Poetry Feature: Hannah Dow

We’re excited to launch our inaugural CCR Online feature with our 2019 Summer Poetry Prize winner, selected by Aimee Nezhukumatathil!

Hannah Dow is the author of Rosarium (Acre Books, 2018), with poems recently appearing or forthcoming in The Southern Review, Image, Pleiades, and The Cincinnati Review, among others. Hannah has received awards and scholarships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and Bread Loaf Orion, and is editor-in-chief of Tinderbox Poetry Journal.

                        My Mother Tries to Teach Me How to Garden

                        On Saturdays we knelt, too—
                        I watched you make holes
                        in the unforgiving New England dirt,
                        then fill them with the seeds you carried
                        like Communion. I heard you pray
                        for cooperative weather, then confess
                        you were not a patient woman.

                        This must be why I first confused impatiens
                        with hurrying, with impulsive—though unsurprisingly,
                        the root of impatiens does not wait—
                        the seed pods burst open if touched. The root
                        of garden is enclosure, and in this way I became
                        like you, leaving home before the first
                        nodding buds of Spring. I never

                        busied my hands with beauty—
                        instead, I taught myself to see
                        the fastened slipstitch of a flower’s
                        another to filament, the ghost apple
                        suspended long after the ice storm

                        departs. Here, in this small
                        southern town, so far from anything
                        I call home, a whole grove flourishes
                        within an abandoned building, restless
                        like a greenhouse that has shaken off its glass.

*Hannah’s poem appears in Issue 43.2 of Cream City Review.

Coming Soon: Fiction Feature