Thursday, July 22, 2021

Under the Periwinkle by Lauren Scharhag

Some call it 

the graveyard vine,

groundcover that, once

planted and mulched, 

asks so little, unfazed

by shade, by the cold

of winter months, by 

the acidity or basicity 

of decomposing bodies;

in return, it rushes in 

where turf and fescue

fail to thrive, smothering

weeds. It stays low,

giving the appearance

of capitulation, pallid

blooms the color

of hush, fit for repose.

Imagine anchoring

down through the old

winding sheets and 

pine boxes, friending

the succulent and long-lived

Spanish Dagger, with its

down-facing white clusters, 

bulbs, cedar, iris and aster;

perennials and evergreens

we plant among the departed

like wishes, like portkeys,

semaphores to signal them back,

to show them that it can

be done. Lost or forgotten

sites, lacking tombstones, 

can be found again,

the past navigable by these

blue-white-lavender stars,

firmament at our feet,

kingdom come held

in petals and stems.

Lauren Scharhag is the author of fourteen books, including Requiem for a Robot Dog (Cajun Mutt Press) and Languages, First and Last (Cyberwit Press). Her work has appeared in over 150 literary venues around the world. Recent honors include the Seamus Burns Creative Writing Prize, three Best of the Net nominations, and acceptance into the 2021 Antarctic Poetry Exhibition. She lives in Kansas City, MO. To learn more about her work, visit:

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