Small Garden by Sally Cook

As New England Used To Be copy 4


Milkweed has risen up, alive and green

And shines in glow of red ball sunset’s rays.

Plump peaches hang from slender branches, seen

Against a patterned, darkened lily bed,

Maroon against bright emerald on the edge.

Wedging, straw flowers, purple, push on through

Amid a cloud of lemon primrose hedge.


A floating border spreads  and picks up red

To add some spice to this small sandwiched space.

Here everything pays homage to the fact

Of foliage—plump roses interface

With fruits, where Monarchs flourish and are fed.


For more from Sally Cook, and a bio, go here.

Painting by the poet: “As New England Used To Be.”


“milkweed” by Polly Parkinson

where i broke off a stem,
white drops oozed
in a milky trickle from the plant
growing wild
in the vacant lot next door.

€œbring the plant you found
it on, € my mother had said
as we settled my caterpillar
in the glass quart jar
that would be its home.

i liked to pound the hammer
on a sharp nail, driving
breathing holes into the jar lid

after a short, quiet life
of milkweed consumption,
my caterpillar cocooned itself
in a dark sack,
hanging from a broken twig,
looking quite dead.

our vigil saw the dark thing,
left alone and unjostled,
take on color

orange-hued, and variegated
in stained glass shapes
outlined in black, the wings
slowly stretched and fanned
themselves dry.

i let it go.
my jar lid cast aside.
i watched it flit away.


Polly Parkinson lives in Salt Lake and works in the Utah Arts Council arts education residency program.   This involves visiting various schools in the state for one to eight weeks and teaching poetry or visual arts.   Her graduate program at Skidmore College focused on illustrated literature and literature about place and loss.

*Contest entry*