Evacuation by Tammy Greenwood


We could see the smoke billow
beyond the ridge. The car packed

with fire escapes of mementos,
each choice an act of judgement day.

Now with room for only half the artwork
on the walls, I was sure I heard the sigh

of houseplants as I closed the door.
And that heavy Gray’s Anatomy book

filled with pressed wildflowers I collected
and labeled the spring of lockdown —

purple nightshade, wild Canterbury bells,
California poppy, silver lupine, presuming

they needed me as much as I needed them.
Now rescuing them a second time,

I fill the birdbaths like chaliced offerings
hoping for another reprieve.


Poet and Printmaker, Tammy Greenwood is a Louisiana native residing in California. Her work is heavily influenced by the varying landscape and culture of both states she calls home. Since graduating from California State University, San Bernardino, she continues her studies while working on her upcoming book of poetry. Her work appears in or is forthcoming in Door is a Jar, Rust & Moth, Orange Blossom Review, San Pedro River Review, Under the Radar, California Quarterly, Poetry South, Emerge Literary Journal, FERAL, and elsewhere.

5 thoughts on “Evacuation by Tammy Greenwood

  1. So beautiful and powerful. Relieved for you, your art and the pressed wildflowers that your home was spared… 🙏❤️

  2. Great poem. Well chosen form in couplets. As with all your poems, the language transports me and I am in the moment, the emotion, with the narrator. Kudos!

  3. Great poem. Couplets really work. As with all your poems, the lovely language transports me to the moment and time with the strong narrator. Kudos!

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