HomeSouthern VoiceOn the Chestatee, late September & Running Through Greenhouses

On the Chestatee, late September & Running Through Greenhouses

A pair of poems by Kathleen Brewin Lewis


On the Chestatee, late September

The river runs straight,
chattering, cold—
nudging the trout redds.
Armored turtles
assemble on black logs,
drench in sunlight.
The gray fox drinks.
In trees, gauzy
sacks of webworm
dissolve into clouds
of white moths.
A hawk screams
as it dives.


Running Through Greenhouses

Our family friends owned a nursery,
a warren of glass-paned greenhouses
built by the German great-grandfather,
humid kingdom through which we ran.

We hid and sought among geraniums,
chrysanthemums, the beginnings of
poinsettias, stalks of Easter lily,
fat hydrangea. Celadon lizards scurried
among the terra cotta pots, pulsed
their rosy dewlaps.

Sometimes we’d encounter the father
tending the plants. He’d growl at us
to make us squeal, send us running
to the next sweaty greenhouse, this one
incubating white azaleas.

Overhead misters hissed, glided
up and down the rows, reviving
the thick scent of black soil dotted
with fertilizer, fecundity nestling
in our clothes and hair until we smelled
like all the other growing things.


Kathleen Brewin Lewis is the author of two chapbooks of poetry, Fluent in Rivers and July’s Thick Kingdom (FutureCycle Press 2014 & 2015). Her work has also appeared in Southern Poetry Review, Southern Humanities Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Tar River Poetry and The Christian Century. She’s been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and once for Best of the Net. She lives in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia.

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