Guest Poem by Lola Haskins

Lola Haskins' most recent collection - Asylum: Improvisations on John Clare  (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019)- was featured in the NY Times Sunday Magazine. Past honors include the Iowa Poetry Prize, two NEAs, four Florida individual artist awards, two Florida Book Awards, narrative poetry prizes from Southern Poetry Review and New England Poetry Review, a Florida's Eden prize for environmental writing, and the Emily Dickinson/Writer Magazine Award from Poetry Society of America.

The Plants in a Skipton Concrete Yard

The chives are xenophobes.
They dig their roots in deeper every year
and have taken over their tub.

The courgette is an exchange student from France.
She is blossoming as hard as she can.
She has always wanted to be a ballerina, sees herself
leaping about the stage in a yellow tutu.

The rosemary is the grandmother. Her thin leaves
pursed, she tells the courgette: For heaven’s sake.
You’re not in Paris now.

The basil is unhappy because
he is unaccustomed to grey skies in summer.
He is turning a little brown at the edges
and dreams of moving away,
to the Cote d’Azur perhaps,
with the courgette on his arm.

And then there’s the mint. Frilly
and spoiled, she insinuates herself
through the pour-spout
into everybody’s cup of tea.