The Reliability of Heat and Flowers

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December 22, 2020 by The Citron Review

by Dawn Terpstra

 

This had to do with romance and a scarf-wrapped ponytail streaming in the wind, gears grinding, a stick-shift half-throttled on a tar-patched blacktop, her diagnosis in March, purple coneflowers with seeds that need a hard freeze to bloom in midsummer, her voice trapped in tubes on a Milky Way night. Rain-ruts lead to prairie breezes, bent foxtails, and stands of Queen Anneโ€™s Lace. Near her stone I tie my scarf to peonies freshly planted from her garden, my gray hair hanging long like hers, and ask which bird sings her favorite song.

 

Dawn Terpstra is an Iowa-based poet who leads a communications team by day and enjoys life in the country after business hours. Her poems have appeared in Remington Review, San Pedro River Review, SWWIM, Third Wednesday, and Eastern Iowa Review. Her chapbook, Songs from the Summer Kitchen, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Her work is included in Telepoem Booth, sponsored by Humanities Iowa. She holds two masterโ€™s degrees from Iowa State University.

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[Unidentified little girl dressed in winter clothing with hand muff, standing], Emery R. Gard, 1865-1870, J. Paul Getty Museum

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