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Grape Hyacinth


Small blue bottle on a shelf in the kitchen
holds one grape hyacinth
I plucked from a neighbor’s lawn.
Each day I watch the tiny thing die.
This is what I do when I come to the sink.
This is my document of observation.
First the little purple poufs at the bottom fade slightly
then slowly collapse like balloons running out of air
at an excruciating, slow pace.
I can almost hear the air whistling out
a miniscule breath, imperceptible.

The process moves up the stem
row by row of inedible miniature grapes:
the fading color
indigo to pale periwinkle
invisible pinprick that makes no pop but lets out the air
and withering carries on
until the lowermost grapes become raisins
so tight you think they cannot curl into themselves
even a tiny bit more but they do
the whole while an inaudible wheeze–
This gradual dying.

{Image by Jana Remy}


I am a children's librarian. I have 2 kids. I have a professor for a husband. I obsess about writing and about making things.

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6 Responses

  1. Alisa says:

    I love this paused moment of observation, Brooke. I enjoy the detail and the stillness. And for the subject matter, I have flowerbeds full of these things, which grow and multiply on their own. Each spring, I weed them out. Only this year I noticed a few peaking out around my recently established perennials, and I really enjoyed them, their hardiness, their deep color.

  2. CatherineWO says:

    I love this, Brooke. Beautiful imagery. Thank you.

  3. Sterling Fluharty says:

    Captivating. It was like serial still imagery in a nearly silent vacuum.

  4. Kelly Ann says:

    Yes, I felt transported, like I was watching some of the dying members of my garden. I love the imagery particularly of the grapes turning into raisins. I also really love Sterling’s poetic response. The vacuum where dead things go.

  5. Caroline says:

    Wow. This is amazing, Brooke.

  6. Brooke says:

    Thank you all for your positive words!

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