Your mother planted her garden, pressing a thumb
into the soil and placing the seed inside with care, a key
into the mouth of a lock. She called you over to see
when the first green appeared, first kitten-ear leaves,
buds growing and changing color as they ripened.
When you swallowed a watermelon seed you cried, sure
it would grow in your stomach until the vine blocked
your throat, green stripes beneath your skin. Possible
because the body’s insides were mysterious and wet
with rain, your pregnant aunt’s belly hard like a rind.
Heather Elliott recently finished her MFA in poetry at Minnesota State University Mankato, and is currently teaching a little/writing a lot while she considers what’s next. Her work is informed by avid interest in travel (she was an English teacher in China for two years), current events, linguistics (she rationalizes her poor Chinese) and everyday life. She has been published by Terracotta Typewriterand Chamber Four Literary Magazine