Jason Nelson Poetry


The 2002 county fair flower show was the only transcendent moment of her life. She spent the prior spring cultivating the flowers in the small garden patch she carved from the abandoned lot behind her house.


It wasn’t the arrangement or colors that charmed the judges, instead her flowers alone remained vibrant and alive despite the melting community center heat. 

The next year someone bought the lot and her garden was replaced with a concrete driveway, flowers still forcing through the cracks until crushed by tires.


Boredom, watching molds fill, cool and clamp, caused temporary workers at the figurine factory to place secrets inside the hollow bellies of ceramic puppies.


One was a phrase, kept secret between father and sons for centuries, so powerful it could hypnotize, leaving the listener open to control.

And inside one of her overly cute, head titled and glossy dogs is slightly burned receipt with the phrase quickly scrawled.

She was told, as her neighbors were told, as anyone living on these sparse plains knows, lace curtains are window obvious announcements of success and beauty.


This understanding, so concrete and central, was born from moths, their fabric, cotton hungry wings finding sustenance in window dressings. The holes left behind by infestation were explained as European, a cultured and delicate intent.

And with foreign lands so remote these children of farmers desired anything assumed to have crossed an ocean, salt water transforming damage into trailer park royalty.