Note from the Editors







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Lavender Boy

It started as a lump out in the garden,
a mound of lavender that never changed. 
I planted it in May; transplanting it
did nothing.  By September no new shoots
had risen in violet efflorescence,
the fine hairs of its silvery green leaves
speared dew for nothing.  Where were all 
the purple standards gardeners expect?

My spade marked a wide circle around the bush.
Painstakingly I loosened earth
when I hit something solid. 
Substituting fingers, I teased dirt away
until the outline of two shoulders surfaced. 
My hands recoiled. 

Soil shook from a pale forehead, amethyst eyes
opened with vegetable innocence. 
I freed its hands and motioned it to help
but it wriggled them in self-discovery
the way a baby looks at its hands. 
More than a yard down, its bluish feet
sprouted like potatoes. Each rootlet broken
made the whole thing quiver. 

Unearthed it looked just like a boy.
I lifted him up gently as a slice of cake. 
What stuff he was was moist and pliable.
He hardened some when Ieft out in the sun.
I thought about Gepetto: “Beautiful boy! “ 

His lips were pale violet and his hair
bore tufts of lavender. 
Wherever he displaced the air,
lavender filled the vacuum. 
It seemed right to dress him
in a suit of silver velvet with a frock collar. 
He could gather blackberries all day
without staining his finery.
Only fires made him nervous;
I quit smoking because of it.

Each morning he would droop
but in the shower he swelled and sprouted.
Beware of over-watering, I thought. 
Within a month he dressed himself
but speech took longer.  Toothlessly
he struggled with consonants,
his voice like a piccolo.  When he piped
“Chaos,” I said “Gaia.”  He chirped
”Uranus.”  I said “Aphrodite.” 
We understood each other.

Eventually his limbs grew woody
as perennials do.  It made him rough,
he didn't like the feel of it, still the idea
of returning to the garden chilled him,
the loss of consciousness and all.
Yet I could see no future for him
beyond a sachet for the closet, nothing
to accommodate his soft, scented hands
and fragile smile.  With tears I planted him.
He asked nothing of me except
to scent all my days with lavender.

C.E. Chaffin, M.D., FAAFP, has been a contributing editor for Umbrella and Eclectica and is the former editor and publisher of The Melic Review.  Credits include The Alaska Quarterly Review, The Pedestal, The Philadelphia Inquirer Book Review and Rattle, among others.  His new volume, “Unexpected Light” was recently released by Diminuendo Press:  He has since been appointed poetry editor for Melic Press.  He also teaches an online poetry tutorial.  Inquiries can be made at

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