Illustration: close-up of Rose of Sharon flower


Offspring of the mother-tree, rooting on the limn between the berried yew
and rose of sharon. A scrim that hid my kitchen from the lines that scarred the sky.
A cure the rains encouraged. A healing balm, narcotic. To lure the birds, to soften
concrete. New growth, standing with the old growth, to hug me all that summer,
the summer I retreated, the summer I believed that all was lost except for these,
their dreamy voices singing with the breezes—a chorus. The smallest forest.

Abstract Illustration: thick hedge with violet flowers

Kathleen Hellen’s credits include two poetry chapbooks, The Girl Who Loved Mothra and Pentimento, and her prize-winning collection Umberto’s Night, published by Washington Writers’ Publishing House. Her latest collection is The Only Country Was the Color of My Skin.

Rose of Sharon and Hedge illustrations by C.B. Auder.

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