by Hillary Kobernick

boll (n.): the rounded pod or capsule of a plant that contains the seeds; a fibrous, nutritionless womb.

the seed, that will one day scream and dance in the hallway or climb on the roof and refuse to come down; that will grow angry when you catch it with beer bottles pull its roots into the 40 below windchill and drive your minivan drunk across Nebraska because he didn’t like your tone; that will stop speaking to you for years when he moves to Portland (Maine or Oregon) and a flatline silence envelopes the house like half a breath that lasts three Christmases and when he announces he is coming, says nothing about breathing or the minivan (that has not accompanied him home); that is now here, seed, wrapped in your boll, suckling your nipple with his tiny body, feet small and fragile as spring cotton leaves.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 2.

Hillary KobernickHillary Kobernick is a three-time member of the Art Amok! Slam Team. She holds a Master’s of Divinity degree from Emory University, meaning that she has, in fact, mastered the Divine. She currently pastors at a church in suburban Chicago. Her work has appeared in literary magazines in the U.S. and Canada, and can always be found at

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