I Have Never
by Athena Kildegaard

on a line from Amy Leach’s “Things That Are”

I have never made a flower,
never have I pressed myself
through dirt, me as root,
as roots, many-tendrilled,
never have I been root,
nor have I pressed myself up
through air, straight and diligent,
nor have I sent out from myself,
from my core, an upward thrust,
tender shoot and shoot
that burst into leaves, never
have I been stem nor leaf,
never have I made a blossom, heady
color as of zinnia, tender leaf
as of gardenia, fur as of geranium,
I have never made a flower, having
no root, no stem, no leaves,
though I can imagine the standing
still, though these are words,
though this is enough, these words
I offer to you, you who have
perhaps made a flower.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 2.

Athena Kildegaard is the author of four books of poems and a fifth is forthcoming from Tinderbox Editions in March 2018. Her poems have been set to song, read by Garrison Keillor, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and stamped into pottery. She lives and teaches in Morris, MN.

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