Pearly everlasting

End of summer walk
my mother picks everlastings,
the pearly buds all open,
sunny centres, silvery leaves.
She ties them in bundles,
hangs them with the garlic.
Come winter, she arranges them
in my grandmother’s blue vase.
Tells me, your grammie loved these.
Tells me, small things bring comfort.

Vanessa McKiel

Vanessa McKiel has worked as a tree-planter, an outward bound instructor,
and a family doctor. Now she is a printmaker and writer. Her work has previously
appeared in The South Shore Review, as well as Ravensperch and The Archive Project. She
lives in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.