Published on Academy of American Poets (

Wild Pansy

As a seed, I was shot out the back end of a blue jay
when, heedless, she flew over the meadow.
She had swallowed me in my homeland when she spied me
lying easy under the sun—briefly, I called her Mother
before I passed through her gullet like a ghost.
In a blink of God’s eye I was an orphan. I trembled
where I fell, alone in the dirt. That first night
was a long night, early May and chilly, and I remember
rain filled my furrow. I called out for mercy—
only a wolverine wandered by. I cursed my luck,
I cursed the happenstance of this world, I smelled
his hot stink, but he nosed me deep into the mud—
this was the gift of obscurity. I germinated, hidden
from the giants of earth, the jostling stalks,
the various, boisterous bloomers, and this was my salvation.
After seven days and nights I pushed through—
yes. Here I am, kissable: your tiny, purple profusion.


Copyright © 2018 Lisa Bellamy. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Winter 2018.


Lisa Bellamy

Lisa Bellamy's chapbook, Nectar, won the 2011 Encircle Publications Chapbook Contest. Her writing has appeared in TriQuarterly, The Sun, and Hotel Amerika. She teaches at The Writers Studio in New York City and lives in Brooklyn.

Date Published: 2018-05-21

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