Iowa Writes

Night Garden

Not noticing the fence
you go for the light—
trip, sprawl,
your lanky body prone
in musky earth.

Among dandelions and seedling elms
at eye level with green strawberries,
in the subtle night-shade of giant rhubarb leaves,
you finally see
the folly of fencing your own garden.

And lying there,
you notice
the light you had sought
was from some neighbor's porch, not yours at all.

And touching your face,
at last, the moon's luminescence,
soft as dust.

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 June 12, 2009

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