Not the Bloom

by Mary Carroll-Hackett

or blossom with its folded wing, the grazing voice, the footstep left in mud, the lover, child, or mother, no longer there, even our own skin, where we think we live, all fragrant bone and metallic blood. Gone. Let the swamp take what it will, the stillness, the slide on into true, the not held and never known, the not ever us. Let’s not mourn what isn’t ours, and never was.

Mary Carroll-Hackett earned an MFA from Bennington College, and is the author of ,The Real Politics of Lipstick, Animal Soul, If We Could Know Our Bones, and most recently The Night I Heard Everything, from FutureCycle Press. Another chapbook, Trailer Park Oracle, is forthcoming Fall 2015 from Kelsay Books. She teaches at Longwood University and recently joined the low-residency MFA faculty at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Mary is at work on a memoir.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “Not the Bloom”?

The poem was written in response to a prompt I posted in this crazy little writing group I started on Facebook last fall as my personal backlash against Black Friday shopping–grrr! Daily prompts and more in the Better-Than-Black-Friday Writing Marathon on Facebook.


Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

Matter Press recently released titles from Meg Boscov, Abby Frucht, Robert McBrearty, Tori Bond, Kathy Fish, and Christopher Allen. Click here.

Matter Press is now offering private flash fiction workshops and critiques of flash fiction collections here.


Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions are now open. The reading period for standard submissions closes again December 15, 2023. Submit here.


11/27 • Michael Mark
12/04 • Helen Beer
12/11 • Rachel Rodman
12/18 • Betsy Robinson
12/25 • Trish Hopkinson
12/31 • Kim Chinquee
01/01 • Jill Michelle