Holly Allen’s poem Michigan Green recalls the summers spent in Michigan with her great-grandmother. ‘She lived in a wooded area right on the bank of a channel. To me, compared to the crowded cities and dry heat of California summers, this felt like a completely different world. I spent most of my time swimming the channel and wandering the wooded areas with my great-grandmother teaching me the names for all the plants and animals- sunfish, for example. I was always curious about the etymology of the words and whether their names really said anything about their character. I guess that idea never left.’
Michigan Green The waxy paper spouts of the sacred thorn-apples in the glen had fuzz-covered stalks the color of a frog’s underbelly without any thorns at all. There were no apples, either to better that foul-smelling bush that made no appearance in the tanglings of the vestibule garden of the lonely Saint Francis. At eleven, it seemed all Michigan green had lied to me in this bold-faced way- The black-eyed susans, ubiquitous squatters at the asphalt’s edge, were eye-less waifs of gold. Even the animals were fabulists. I learned this with my cask of skin sprawled face down on a turbid bed of stinking channel-waste staring at the sunfish.
Holly Eva Allen is a writer currently living in California. She has a degree in linguistics and English from the University of California. Her work has been previously published in magazines and sites such as Levee Magazine, Blue Unicorn, The Courtship of Winds, and The Slanted House. She is currently working on a Master’s in English at Claremont Graduate University.