que sera sera

after John Singer Sargent’s “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose”

when i 

grow up

i would like

to stay

like this– 


the flowers.


the lamp 

glows dimly

across my sister’s

face, curls floating 

in the breeze.


her lips are painted

red from pomegranates

that we ate just before,

fingers digging in 

and ripping skin, 

seeds spilling across

the grass, juice pooling

in the crook 

of my arm.


i can see one 

seed now,

peeking between 

pink roses. it looks 

like fire in the night, 


i feel

the earth 

continue to



my sister looks so grown 

with her white gown 

but she

is only 7, i 

am only 11.


why are you 

watching me?


who are you waiting 

for me to become?

GRACE McGOVERN is a writer from Chicago waiting for the one week of spring to kick in. Grace’s work has appeared in OUT/CASTOpen Minds Quarterly, and Illinois’ Best Emerging Poets Anthology, and she was the recipient of the 2016 and 2018 Academy of American Poet’s University Prize.