How ugly you all are,
An all-over ugly!
Iris bulbs unearthed and scythed
Of top leaves,
I lay your twisted, tuberous
Bodies across a gutted paper sack
And take a moment to grimace
At your grotesquery.
Dirt clings to your stringy reaching roots.
Not even warm water and bleach
Can pretty the rough hide of your skin.
Poor horrid hags!
But waitâ€”donâ€™t droop,
Shrivel dry in shame.
For I know your secret.
You keep it like a locket,
Or maybe a pearl,
Deep in the water of your fleshâ€”
A tiara of petals, jewels of silk,
A blush pressed within paper wings.
Each spring, you rise
Slim-necked as swans and slender-leaved
To curve rainbows into blossoms.
Yes, majesty resides in these lumps,
These commoner dumplingsâ€”
Children of the coronet.
Who would guess such a spectacle
But those whoâ€™ve already seen
The princess curled within the peasantâ€”
The goddess in the hag flower.
Sarah E. Page graduated Cum Laude from Brigham Young University with a B.A. in English in 2007 and is pursuing her Master of Science and certification in Secondary English at Southern Connecticut State University. Her poetry has been published in Noctua Review, Mormon Artist, Inscape: A Journal of Literature and Art, and included in the anthology Fire in the Pasture: Twenty-First Century Mormon Poets. When not scribbling novels or taking pictures of the ragged aster and other weeds running rampant in her garden, she enjoys getting lost on long walks in the Naugatuck State Forest.