SWWIM publishes, celebrates, & promotes women, women-identifying & Femme-presenting writers through a Miami-based reading series & the online poetry journal SWWIM Every Day.

When the Irises Don’t Come

I have survived the darts of winter icing my face

and scrubbed mud from the carpet all spring.


I have rejoiced at the sky turned bowl-like and blue

and studied the family of fox living beneath our forsythia.

And yet you do not appear, as you always do,

your purple palms upraised.


The spectacle of fireworks does not entice you,

nor the young blueberries about to burst

from their tight pods.


The tall stalks swish a strange summons,

first casual, then insistent. Still,

you do not come.


I can't explain this sadness.


All I know is that since I came to this place,

I have relied on you to open, so that each July,

I can place your stems in the guest room

for my mother, who, ill and slowing,

has yet to tell me if she will arrive.

Kyle Potvin’s chapbook, Sound Travels on Water (Finishing Line Press), won the 2014 Jean Pedrick Chapbook Award. She is a two-time finalist for the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award. Her poems have appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Crab Creek Review, The New York Times, Measure, JAMA, and others. She is an advisor to Frost Farm Poetry in Derry, NH, and helps produce the New Hampshire Poetry Festival. Kyle lives with her family in Southern New Hampshire.

Midlife Crisis

After the Greeks Tippy-Toed out of a Horse