Queen's Quarterly

Queen's Quarterly
Queen's Quarterly

A Wild Sweet Pea

Zachery Cooper

Wild sweet peas spill over the sidewalk.
Their pink flowers & curly vines
dance in the wind,
a tangled wave goodbye
I run past on Stewart Avenue.
They weren’t here last week,
but many things
grow quickly
like the fairy-tale world
in my grandmother’s trailer.

Every morning,
she rounded up
the polka-dot cattle
salt & pepper shakers
for breakfast,
then scrubbed her Santa Claus
plate & hazel owl mug
clean with a sponge
from the candy-striped
lighthouse near the sink.

Indigo clouds fold into grey
hues overhead, lace the sidewalk
with waterfall mist;
my stride’s rhythm
lost as my eyes trace
foliage for wild sweet peas.
Why shouldn’t they shake
their petals loose in the wind?
Maybe grandma adored that most,
how they danced when everyone
looked, magenta flowers
on top of the world they created.

By afternoon,
she slipped into
Nora Roberts’ fabled tales
while ceramic white cats ...

* poem, in its entirety, is available in the printed version of the current issue.


Zachery Cooper’s writing appears or is forthcoming in PRISM International, Queen’s Quarterly, the New Quarterly, EVENT, White Wall Review, Filling Station, Broken Pencil, and the Quilliad. He lives in Nanaimo, British Columbia.