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Friday, April 22, 2022


by Janice Northerns

Stalks slashed, petals scattered along the road
to the bomb shelter. A country drained of color
waves its flag as a placeholder for the sky.
But spring will green the world again and seeds
crushed under the enemy’s boot will fire
with life. War’s buried relics will multiply
into bright bouquets, blood blossoming
into patches of helianthus coming up
volunteer. Shimmering in the blue breeze:
sun-soaked fields, lapping up the light.

Janice Northerns is the author of Some Electric Hum (Lamar University Literary Press, 2020), winner of the Byron Caldwell Smith Book Award from the University of Kansas, the Nelson Poetry Book Award, and  a WILLA Literary Award Finalist in Poetry. The author grew up on a farm in rural West Texas and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas Tech University. She and her husband live in southwest Kansas.