by Agnieszka Filipek


remember that summer when
we found an old box with dusty lavender
on the windowsill in that rented
room with a view in Provence
we threw it away
not knowing any better

in the morning as my foot
touched the white floor I saw
scorpions surrounding the bed
my screams must have woken
up the whole street

the housekeeper barged into the room
swept the scorpions off the ground
and threw them out the window
she waved her kitchen cloth at us
shouting something in French
none of us understood

then she pulled a box of lavender
out of the basket bin and put it
back on the windowsill with a smile


Agnieszka Filipek lives in Galway, Ireland. She writes in both, her native tongue Polish and in English, and also translates in these languages. Her poems have appeared in over 40 publications internationally, including countries, such as Poland, Ireland, India, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Germany, Canada and the United States. Visit www.agnieszkafilipek.com.


See what happens when you click below.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “Provence”?

I was doing some research about scorpions and read that they don’t like lavender. Then I remembered the beautiful lavender fields stretching for miles in Provence. The people there put lavender on windowsills and around the house to keep insects out. I’ve travelled to France many times and wanted to write something about my time there. Thankfully, nothing like this ever happened to me, but as I began writing this poem, I imagined what could have transpired if the lavender wasn’t there.


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 June 15, 2021. Topical Thursdays’ submissions are open year-round. Submit here.


04/08 • Dominic Viti
04/10 • Nancy Connors
04/12 • Niles Reddick
04/14 • Martins Deep
04/15 • Anastasia Jill
04/17 • Joanne Lozar Glenn
04/19 • Robin Neidorf
04/21 • Martins Deep
04/22 • Autumn Bettinger
04/26 • TBD
04/28 • Martins Deep
05/03 • TBD
O5/05 • Martins Deep
05/10 • TBD
05/17 • TBD
05/24 • TBD
05/31 • TBD