Skip to main content

by Caroline P.M. West

“Opal Aquarium 2” by Sarah Stoddard


Wooded fibers fine as cornsilk
Weave through these iris husks
I’m handling.
None passed away—they died
here in the sun-warmed earth
I dig in.

Transplanted crowded colors
that my neighbor tried to trash
for clashing rowdy
with her roses:
I, fierce salvager,
knew a sudden need.

I need their laughing panting
furred-gold faces, their silent
swiftly sworded leaves.
I need especially their bulbs:
whited grotesque undergrowth,
their ugly turnip tubers kin to
megalomanic tumor X’ed, irradiated,
above left ear, that re-invading
burst my father’s brain.

I gently pry, then rip them, tear.
Sorrowing, I excise each from the other
in their cleaving,
ever-widening bed.
Resistant, slowly yielding,
stunted things stubborn in the soil.

I yearly need to bury fibrous tubers:
in an exercise of meager faith
I will us both to bloom.


Caroline P.M. West is a senior majoring in English from American Fork, Utah. She has been published in BYU Today and Exponent II.