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Mother, Pressed

by Sarah Rose Nordgren

She instructs me in her vacant way
to identify the flower

by looking inside the blossom—
deep inside the blossom

to spy its waxy alchemy,
the sight of her pink

skirt and pointed yellow feet
flattened between two sheets

of translucent paper,
while at the same time

butterflies vie for her hair,
my shirt is stained

by pollen, her bosom
looms above my head

and a thought deep inside
the sun whites her face out.


Sarah Rose Nordgren is the author of Best Bones (University of Pittsburgh Press, forthcoming fall 2014), winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Iowa Review, Pleiades, Harvard Review, Ploughshares, and The Best New Poets. She grew up in Durham, North Carolina, and lives in Cincinnati. (updated 4/2014)

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