Wednesday Words: Evening Primrose Path by Cynthia Gallaher

Wednesday Words: Evening Primrose Path by Cynthia Gallaher
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Welcome to Wednesday Words, where each week we’ll dazzle you with words from a variety of poets! This week’s poem comes from Cynthia Gallaher, and her contribution to our Feminine Flower poetry submissions.

Cynthia Gallaher, a Chicago-based poet and playwright, is author of four poetry collections, including Epicurean Ecstasy: More Poems About Food, Drink, Herbs and Spices(The Poetry Box, Portland, 2019), and three chapbooks, including Drenched (Main Street Rag, Charlotte, N.C., 2018), poems about liquids. She made a 10-city book tour with her nonfiction guide & memoir Frugal Poets’ Guide to Life: How to Live a Poetic Life, Even If You Aren’t a Poet, which won a 2017 National Indie Excellence Award.The Chicago Public Library lists her among its “Top Ten Requested Chicago Poets.” Follow her on Twitter at @swimmerpoet and on her Facebook page at @frugalpoets.


Evening Primrose Path, Rated PG13

unfolding only at day’s end,
the evening primrose flower
with dewy jewels on blousy cheeks
steals all attention from the moon.

with only one quick night to make seed,
primrose no longer acts prim,
becomes aromatic, her engorged stamens
shimmer like a braless woman in the dark.

working breathy in these chancy, shadowy hours
to attract the right suitors, night-flying moths arrive
to lick her petals and raise her cloud of pollen as if
the earth moved, and indeed spill what’s fertile fire.

indulged and exhausted, her sepals spread
tangled in dawn’s damp bedsheets,
as her seedpod swells, the sweet crevice
from which we draw her fragrant oil,

the oil to replace what
we’ve lost along our own
non-primrose paths,

which on the plus side,
lay as far away as possible
from a flurry of moths.

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