That Shade of Green Known as Blooming

by Vandana Khanna

What to make of this heat
clicking against the house
like ladybugs—quick
flex of wings against
glass jar, window sill?
What to make of the garden—
calling for hoe, rake,
my untrained fingers? There,
a chorus of chapped crocuses
open-mouthed and crying.

I take them for tulips, daffodils—
anything with petal and stem.
I can’t tell kale from lettuce—
stuck in the ground, their leaves
green and glistening.

See all the things I fail at?

If only I could make a meal
from iron and mud and blood,
burn tungsten on a defiant stove
and call it curry, call it the hours
between now and now.

If only I could manage
to bring it all to a boil—
the pot, the house, the unpaved
road until even the rocks
sing with wet voices.


Vandana-Khanna-headshotVandana Khanna was born in New Delhi, India and received her M.F.A. from Indiana University in Bloomington, where she was a recipient of the Yellen Fellowship in poetry. Her collection of poetry, Train to Agra, won the 2000 Crab Orchard Review First Book Prize. Ms. Khanna’s work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in journals including Crazyhorse, Callaloo and The Indiana Review, as well as the anthologies Homage to Vallejo, Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation and Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

One thought on “That Shade of Green Known as Blooming

  1. Max Nomad says:

    Beautiful. This feels like something I face often — an unspoken moment between conjuring the energy to create something and secretly facing the uncertainty of whether or not the design will be successful.

    I smell the heat and steam… Kudos!


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