Morning Glories by Shira Dentz

Fruitpicking at a nearby farm, I saw white flowers among the blueberry bushes and wondered whether they were blueberry flowers, somehow having morphed from the blueberry cluster shapes. A kind of translation. That nature extrapolated grace this way quieted me.

A sticking point was the nonblue of the flowers, but I tossed this discrepancy aside as names of things don’t always match up color-wise. And so, I rested at the notion that the cluster forms had, indeed, been precusory to the white flowers, and this conjured a feeling in me of continuity, like home.

About an hour later, I saw the same white flowers among the raspberry bushes, peach and nectarine trees.

I kept looking back quizzically at the white flowers and I have to say there has been a type of white flower I’ve been on the lookout for, for decades, though my pine has dimmed with time. It first spelled me when I was six or seven. My parents, brother, and I had approached it along a walk past the bungalow colony we stayed at for a week or two during the summers before my brother died. The flower’s blinding light and mouth-like arch mesmerized me, and as my parents and brother walked on, I stopped to read its shape and hearty texture.

I knew I would never able to read it that way if and when I found it again. All I could do was name it.

At the pay stand, I asked the cashier if he knew the name of the farm’s flowers but he didn’t. Why not search for it online.

    funnel-shaped and stretch out in the mornings. wild and grow on vines

It dawned on me that the region I was in now was where the bungalow colony had been.

    the flower dies at day’s end

I had vowed to honor their instructions about vulnerability and boldness. Shadows in and out of my family, summer before my brother died.

    age-old emblems: permanence in transience, symbol for beauty and mortality

Yesterday while walking in a field, a friend told me that some flowers cross over with vegetables—lettuce, carrots, etc.— and their stalks taste like their veggie kin. So it wasn’t so far-fetched, after all, that I had imagined a bond between the blueberries and white flowers. Kinship as formal translation, an extrapolation of grace. Flowers fluted, cupped, reaching— petals taking in light and shining, both at once.



Shira Dentz is the author of five books and two chapbooks, including FLOUNDERS (Essay Press, 2016), how do i net thee (Salmon Poetry, 2018,) and the sun a blazing zero (Lavender Ink/Diálogos, 2019). Her writing appears widely in venues including Poetry, American Poetry Review, Iowa Review, Brooklyn Rail, Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, and NPR. Her poems have received awards including an Academy of American Poets’ Prize, Poetry Society of America’s Lyric Poem Award, and Poetry Society of America’s Cecil Hemley Memorial Award. A graduate of Iowa Writer’s Workshop, she holds a PhD in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Utah, and currently is Special Features Editor at Tarpaulin Sky and lives and teaches in upstate NY.