Watching Time-Lapse Videos of Peonies Blooming

Katy Didden

I thought bloomwas a single motion—a force thatsplits the sepal,bends buds back.But sped on film,in the waythe weight of waterslows the motionof human limbsthe petals swim.So air is a body,another sea!and like the bodyafter bloompeonies retract—complex syntaxwhere the full splay'sa subordinate clause:it's this re-sayingthat describes the waveand proves death's justthe worlds kept shutin us re-opening.

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image of Katy Didden
Lauren Ditchley

Katy Didden is the author of The Glacier’s Wake (Pleiades Press, 2013) and Ore Choir: The Lava on Iceland (forthcoming from Tupelo Press, 2022). Her poems and essays appear in journals such as Poetry Northwest, Ecotone, 32 Poems, Diagram, The Sewanee Review, and The Kenyon Review, and she is one of the co-creators of Almanac for the Beyond (Tropic Editions, 2019). She is an Associate Professor at Ball State University.

West Branch issue 98 cover

Winter 2022

Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

Stadler Center for Poetry
Bucknell University

G. C. Waldrep

Managing Editor
Andrew Ciotola

Shara Lessley

West Branch is a thrice annual magazine of poetry, fiction, essays, and reviews, founded in 1977 and housed at the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University.

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