The porch swing moves in the wind
without my pushing it, a barely
perceptible side to side swaying
I notice most when I close my eyes.
All over the porch and in the flower beds
my mother has planted petunias, the favorite
flower of my dead sister, the purple velvet
of each open throat a spot of wavering
darkness. Why should a child be born
and die in springtime? The wind pushes
the swing, ruffles the flowers, carries
the complex scent of orange blossoms—
perfume, dry earth, dank leaves and ripe
fruit—the smell of Florida in spring.
Amy Watkins grew up with the alligators and armadillos in the Central Florida scrub, the oldest child of a nurse and a carpenter. As a kid, she wanted to be an artist, a doctor, a teacher and a contestant on Star Search; she became a writer instead. Her poems and essays have recently appeared in Bigger Than They Appear: Anthology of Very Small Poems, BloodLotus, and Animal: A Beast of a Literary Magazine. She lives in Orlando with her husband and only child, Alice.
This week’s Wardrobe Best Dressed was selected Nicole Oquendo. Nicole Oquendo is an Assistant Editor for Sundress Publications, and the Nonfiction Editor of Best of the Net. Her most recently published essays and poetry can be found in DIAGRAM, fillingStation, Storm Cellar, and Truck.
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