Pickles || Constance Owens


Pikkylls, pekilles, pekels, pöekels

Preserved in brine, the knotty bullets languish in a glass, adorned,
the dress code formal, a gleaming choker twisted around its neck
like an ornamented noose, a Ball sash scrolled across its breast.
The gherkin-sage on display in the vault; the sign says,
“He fired six pickles at the knob.”

My grandmother is like a pickle, soused in vinegar, a small spiny fruit
picked from a tropical vine, cylindrical Cucumis anguria, a twining plant
taking over the ground and covering chocolate sand, ochre stains on leaves,
bacterial wilt on her powdery face, foliage withers to its death.

Cucumber mosaic virus:  her branches curl blackened. Chaplets,
briny-edged, they fall to the ground.  Like a squash bug, she
attacks her seedlings, inviting the slugs to gnaw on ripened fruit.


Currently pursuing her MFA with the University of Central Florida, Constance Owens hangs her hat somewhere in Florida with her two Volpino Italiani where she writes fiction, creative nonfiction, and a good poem when she’s in the mood. She recently completed her poetry chapbook Other Shiny Things and her fiction work recently appeared in The Write Stuff Anthology. She is Editor for South Georgia Today and reads for LongLeaf Review.

Originally published in the FALL 2018 edition of The Helix.


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