And I Thought of Glass Flowers

A. V. Christie

Some say superior people disdain the glass flowers at Harvard,and so I sought the flowers out.Arrayed they were, in low light, in glass cases.I cried unexpectedly at their glass roots, criedat the beauty of the task:transverse section, frond, pod, stamen, thousandsof botanical specimens made to hold still.And I felt there was, too, something unlawful about it.                Where there was first an iris, an iris to the touch,                there was now a glass iris—.Now loss. Now triumph.And I saw thatlaid open, every song is a love song.

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A.V. Christie (1963-2016) was the author of Nine Skies (University of Illinois Press), which won the National Poetry Series; The Housing, winner of the McGovern Prize (Ashland Poetry Press); and the chapbooks The Wonders (Seven Kitchens Press) and And I Began to Entertain Doubts (Folded Word Press). Her poems have appeared in Crazyhorse, Poetry, Commonweal, AGNI, Ploughshares, The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner and many other reviews. She was a recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pennsylvania and Maryland State Arts Councils and was a visiting writer at Villanova and LaSalle universities, Bryn Mawr College, Goucher College, the University of Maryland and Penn State Abington.

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