Laura Sobbott Ross



My grandmother showed us

how to tear the petals off violets,

peel back the flocked purples,

revealing a core no bigger

than a child's eyelash. We had no name

for pistil or stigma, only

that they formed a head and torso

in a tunic of orange and white—

an elfin fairy, green tendril legs

soaking in a tub of petal-spur. 

We were used to my grandmother's hands

at the rim of a cast iron pot,

threading bean pods, shucking

corn husks and crayfish tales, scraping

hen feathers from a scalded carcass.

Now they unfurled pixies between heart

shaped leaves all those

fairies with pollen in their hair,

soaking their green, night-frolicked soles

while our giddy fingers plucked

away the thin walls of their rooms.

My grandmother's calico skirts catching

the dusk of our raucously minted purples,

every weary fairy's interrupted rest. 

Laura Sobbott Ross' poetry appears or is forthcoming in The Florida Review, Calyx, The Cold Mountain Review, The Columbia Review, Natural Bridge, Tar River Poetry, and The Caribbean Writer, among others. Nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize, she has also been a finalist for the Creekwalker Poetry Prize and a semi-finalist in the Black Lawrence Press chapbook competition. 



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