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Poet: Joanne Epp

What were those leaves I picked
in the graveyard? Ferns,
I called them. They probably weren't.
More likely, leaves of yarrow,
just emerging. Violets, though—
those I knew. Plucked them
from the grass, arranged them
with the ferny leaves on the graves
of my great-grandparents, because
this is what people do, put flowers
on graves, and these were far better
than fake ones. Because
there wasn’t much more than this:
their names on headstones; a photo
in a cardboard frame; the tiny
grey house; their presence
just beyond my memory.

Joanne Epp is the author of Cattail Skyline (Turnstone Press, 2021), Eigenheim (Turnstone Press, 2015) and the chapbook Nothing But Time (Seven Kitchens Press, 2020). Her poems have appeared in Prairie Fire, The New Quarterly, Canadian Literature, and other journals. She lives in Winnipeg, Canada. Her web site is

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