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.