Iowa Writes

Kora in My Garden

Once I planted iris bulbs
upside down. Now
I've got Kora in my garden.
I'd say she dove straight
into the white heat
heart of her mother
and brought back hell.

June can get hot here, so hot
we thrust our hands into dirt
to our wrists, seeking the cool earth: cool
because Kora tore
the heat out, brought it
here and by the second law
of heat, transformed it
into air. Dirt,
cool garden dirt
is order, balance and repair
when Kora shoots up
from those buried bulbs,
her yellow lava mouth dripping.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting


This poem originally appeared in Volume 5, Number 6 of 100 Words, a journal published by The University of Iowa's International Writing Program between 1993 and 1998. Each piece in the journal had to be 100 words or fewer, and each issue had a theme. This issue's theme was "On Garden."

This page was first displayed
on April 13, 2009

Find us on Facebook