Eleven poetry boxes are placed throughout the University of Utah’s Red Butte Garden. This month and next, they contain the winning poems of Red Butte Garden’s annual Poetry Month contest. Alas, you cannot see them because the Garden is closed. But here’s one. You can also view all the winning poems at www.redbuttegarden.org/garden-poetry-walk. We’ll also publish more throughout April in CATALYST’s Weekly Reader, emailed each Thursday. Sign up here: https://catalystmagazine.net/subscribe-weekly-reader
It’s lying in bed between snooze buttons and hearing larks
in the parking lot outside your window.
It’s mornings that start late but get bright suddenly
and a different slant
to the light stealing – more boldly now – through the blinds.
It’s turning the heat off
and an apartment that smells different
and emerald ash beetles gleaming on your car.
It’s switching from chai to frappuccinos.
It’s a bigger crop
of food carts in Research Park. It’s happier co-workers,
and new Employee Wellness classes,
through the windshield on your way home.
And then its worms wending alongside your jogging feet,
and the tiniest rabbits in the Russian knapweed,
and weeds along South Temple
in every shade of purple –
and still being surprised to see flowers.
It’s feeling grateful
you didn’t miss the one day when they all bloomed together.
And – blessedly
late, not until you yearn for it –
it’s a sunset in all the citrus shades of Pinkberry
deepening behind druid circles of deer.
— Victoria Childress
About the Author
Victoria Childress studied creative writing at Virginia Tech while earning a master’s degree in public health. Originally from Virginia, she now lives in Salt Lake City, where she works as a Clinical Research Coordinator at the University of Utah.