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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 4: July 2020
Prose Poem: 179 words
By Linda Nemec Foster

Planting Geraniums on Geranium Street

 

She finally lives in the house of her dreams on the street of her childhood in southern Poland. The new house built by her husband in a field close to her parents’ old place. The field of her girlhood reticence surrounded by birch and chestnut trees, sparrows and the laughter of her brother’s children. But something is missing from this idyllic tableaux. If the patron saint of luck can’t be enticed to stay, she will conjure up the patron flower of loyalty to protect the street: geraniums of strength and forgiveness, geraniums of humility and courage, geraniums of patience and perseverance, of witness and uprising. They have seen everything and still continue to grow. So, she plants them—talismans, charms, sentinels—all around the house in every shade of red, coral, pink, purple, yellow, blue. The flowers radiant near the white trunks of the birches. Color surrounds every inch of the yard until it shimmers like the wings of a crane. A vision that even the gray sky marvels at with long, silent sighs.

Linda Nemec Foster
Issue 4, July 2020

is the author of 11 poetry collections, including Amber Necklace from Gdansk (a finalist for the Ohio Book Award in Poetry; Louisiana State University Press, 2001), The Lake Michigan Mermaid with Anne-Marie Oomen (2019 Michigan Notable Book; Wayne State University Press, 2018), The Elusive Heroine: My Daughter Lost in Magritte (Cervena Barva Press, 2018), Talking Diamonds (New Issues Press, 2009), and Listen to the Landscape (Eerdmans Publishing, 2006). Her new poetry book, The Blue Divide, was selected as an Editor’s Choice and will be published by New Issues Press in 2021.

Ms. Foster’s work has appeared in more than 350 magazines and journals such as The Georgia Review, New American Writing, Nimrod, North American Review, Quarterly West, Paterson Literary Review, Witness, and Verse Daily. Her poems have also been published in anthologies in the U.S. and Great Britain, and translated in Europe. Collaborations with visual artists, musicians, and composers have brought her poetry to new venues and audiences. It has been exhibited in museums and galleries, set to music, produced for the stage, and nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

In 2018 and 2019, Ms. Foster won an Editor’s Choice Award in the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Contest sponsored by The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College and Paterson Literary Review. She has been honored with awards from the Arts Foundation of Michigan, ArtServe Michigan, the National Writer’s Voice, and the Academy of American Poets. She is the founder of the Contemporary Writers Series at Aquinas College, and was the first Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids, Michigan (serving from 2003-2005). In 2015, she was honored by the Dyer-Ives Foundation for her poetry and advocacy of the literary arts in Michigan. In the fall of 2019, she was a guest lecturer in contemporary American poetry and literature at the University of Bielsko-Biala in Poland.

For more info, visit her website at: www.lindanemecfoster.com

 
 
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