Iowa Writes

Mrs. Wood's Jungle

She has an unruly, luscious jungle behind her house
This garden knows no end, no constructed abnormality
It climbs the fence like a delinquent teenager
The secret cats that live there know wilderness
And they know who belongs.

The stump of a great tree rules in the center.
Early in the morning, before the birds are awake,
Before the other spirits have hastily retreated,
I have seen its ghost sprout and unfurl.

This is where I first understood twilight.

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.

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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 15, 2009

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