The Fourth River

Tributaries: “Peony”

By on June 7, 2017

By Sally Nacker


for B.W.


You bring home a peony bush
to plant with your dog’s ashes.
Too late for medicine, or hope,
but not for beauty. Each June,
an effusion of vivid blossoms
will open, blessing air. And all month,
you will bless your beloved friend
in open prayer. July will wander
cruelly in, like death again, each year.
New life will follow, each next spring,
as fresh buds loosen and declare.




Sally Nacker has published poems in Mezzzo Cammin: An Online Journal of Formalist Poetry by Women, and Grey Sparrow Journal. Other poems are forthcoming in The Orchards, and The Red Wheelbarrow Literary Magazine. Her first book, Vireo, was published by Kelsay Books in 2015.  She lives in New England with her husband, and their two cats.