Iowa Writes


we rushed into the garden as dark
came down—frost edging the air.
we sorted melons: ripe—overripe,
not-yet-sweet, worm-invaded

leaking liquid into the ground.
we piled them willy nilly—
a bushel basket in the front hall,
three in the cellar fridge,

one in the kitchen, sliced
the next day. the orange meat
glistened, the little seeds,
the amniotic pulp slid

from the cutting board's puddle
into the compost bucket's aromatic slot.
now the hall smells like melon
part perfume, part old damp shoe,

this atmosphere we wade through,
loss and expectancy,
honey and rot.

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 July 08, 2009

Find us on Facebook