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A picture a poppy flower which is considered a weed and a fragile flower.
Original artwork by Anna Mansueti

Moments of Tranquility, Among the Blazing Chaos

Amelia Díaz Ettinger

of an ambulance
that bore my daughter to ICU
a monitor takes the measure
of her poisoned veins
the pity in the nurses’ eyes
as they enter and exit
room five

blended now to a cricket full sunrise when I knelt
by the perfect row of peas
plucking weeds
my stained fingers working the soil’s mercy
its gritty coolness a slight measure of delight
and hallowed quiet
for broken nails
away from that mutual tenderness we turned
to bog and swampy water
— the fear in her eyes
still there was a piece of sunlight warming
the yellow flowers on the tomato vines
the chickens’ lazy cluck as they scratched,
her dog relegated as my constant companion
his eyes appraising as I tended this crop
—and what we came to believe about each other
my garden apron full of seeds
the surprising satisfaction of those tiny black faiths
marking sharp my palm-creases
a prospect that these we will grow together
maybe even this coming season