It’s To Die For


the beauty of

this night,

its strange glow

of light rising

after days

of heavy rain.


At nightfall

the sky is alight

with pink

and yellow fire—


owlet moths

that thought

they were hidden

are in a frenzy over

the last purple spikes

of catnip. You and I

walk without words

as rain returns,

darkness resettles.


I have finally

figured it out,

I say: the only

price we must pay

for all this beauty

is to die for it.





This morning I stoop

to pull wild grass away

from bleeding hearts

and columbine, untangle

iris from spiderwort.

Has it been since June

that I knelt upon this ground?


A summer overgrown

has choked the simple

beginnings of spring—

an elderly mother’s move,

repairs to a rundown home,

common occurrences of life

that like the sheaths

of lady’s thumb

choke, cover, obscure

adjacent bloom.


I weed along toward noon.

Sun lightens the delicate leaves

of coral bells, bare black

earth again revealed,

and I lean heavily on

soil scarcely redeemed.


by Judith Grissmer

Judith Grissmer’s work has been published in the Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, the Golden Nib Online Anthology (2010 first place in poetry VA Writers Club), The Blue Ridge Anthology (2008/2010 first place in poetry, Blue Ridge Writers Club), The Alembic, Crack the Spine, Mikrokosmos Journal, and Schuylkill Valley Journal. Work is forthcoming in the Edison Literary Review and Penmen Review. She has attended poetry workshops and classes in universities and writing centers, worked independently with instructors at those centers, and has participated in writers’ critique groups for many years.


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