Say you are in a garden. Further you are Amaranth, your wife Coltsfoot, your son a mighty Cactus and your radiant daughter a Sunflower standing tall in the very center. Your garden is filled with a variety of Wild Iris aunts, Mock Orange uncles, Apple & Apricot cousins, Nasturtium grandfathers. Say one sunny afternoon some rootless Ivy sprouts up not far from your stationary daughter. A weed. Without natural pests or disease he spreads rapidly over large portions of the garden. Say the Ivy pollinates your daughter. Say they have a child or two or three and each time your daughter goes to seed her head droops lower and lower—eventually she can no longer follow the fat sun from east to west. Out-competing the family for nutrients and water—uncles, aunts, cousins are forced to seek refuge in another garden. Tendrils of heart-shaped leaves wrap tighter and tighter bruising your Sunflower child until there is nothing in the garden but her and an advancing blanket of green. Say your Sunflower daughter’s perception is clouded. Say she stays—craving the Ivy—to relive the initial euphoria—his probe for her nectar. Her ten-foot stem, each floret, every cell dependent on his presence. Say she is restless, unable to sleep, to leave the Ivy coldturkey sacrificing even her seedlings for him. No thoughts but him. The rush of his leaf on hers. Not even worrying that the wind will uproot her.
Laura LeHew is an award winning poet with 250 poems appearing in over 100 national and international journals and anthologies such as Alehouse, Eating Her Wedding Dress: A Collection of Clothing Poems from Ragged Sky Press, Filling Station, Gargoyle Magazine, Pank, Perceptions, and the 2010 edition of the Syracuse Cultural Workers’ Women Artists Datebook. Her chapbook, Beauty, was published by Tiger’s Eye Press in 2009 and is in its 3rd printing. LeHew received her MFA in writing from the California College of the Arts and writing residencies from Soapstone and the Montana Artists Refuge, interned for CALYX Journal and was nominated for a Pushcart prize. She edits Uttered Chaos (http://www.utteredchaos.org) and is currently guest editor for The Medulla Review. LeHew has one husband, eight cats [Nikita (la Femme), Tessa, Mr. Socks, Baby, Dorian (yes he is grey), and the Army of Darkness (Raven, Shadow and Smoke)] and never sleeps.