Hoya, she says

Garrett Stack


My mother’s favorite
plant is the Hoya carnosa
of the Apocynaceae family
————————————she says that’s just science
————————————sticking its big nose in

She bought me one,
a warming gift meant
for the big bay window
————————————she says it’s for injecting life
————————————into a quarantined corpse
And dutiful son I fed it
mugfuls of water laced
with Arabica grounds
————————————she says no one sees the present
————————————as extraordinary time
Twining tendrils creep up
the chain, press pink buds
against thin winter glass
————————————she says all the flora simply waits
————————————for us to burn ourselves up
Look how growth will out
given time, sun, support
even of the meanest kind
————————————she says porcelain flowers lurk
————————————just beneath our coats


Garrett Stack is a teacher and writer at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI. His work is forthcoming or recently published in the Great Lakes Review, American Journal of Poetry, Pine Row, and others. His first book of poetry, Yeoman’s Work, was released as part of Bottom Dog Press’ Working Lives Series in August 2020 and earned a Pushcart Prize nomination.


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