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A Calyx: Winter 2023



My life going into 2023 resembles a flower bud. The petals of my former self last year have dispelled.

After a turbulent spring, in which my daughter and her father were having some domestic issues, my boyfriend of 5 years decided to end our relationship. As my therapist said, it was the old cliché, “he left you went the times got tough.” Although if you asked my ex his side of the story, he might argue we weren’t together 5 years (because he never counted). Maybe even in his mind, we were never even together at all. The whole thing now seems like a dream.


Speaking of dreams, I transitioned into a new role in the Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine Division at the local research hospital. I’m a Clinical Research Coordinator and help run the clinical trials. They plan to have me primarily oversee the Sleep Medicine side. So now when people ask me what I do for a living, I can say, “I study how people sleep.”


To punctuate the 2022 holiday season, my kitchen flooded causing thousands of dollars of water damage AND my daughter tested positive for COVID for the first time on Christmas Eve.


Amid all of life’s chaos, I received an email with the subject title “CALYX Journal Hold for Further Review.” I was so busy in the clinic that day, I didn't have an opportunity to read the letter until later.


A week prior, on a crisp fall day when the weather was warm and the leaves were falling, my daughter asked me, “What is your favorite biological word?”

Her question seemed out-of-the-blue yet filled with purpose, as if my answer would unlock the secrets of the universe.

“Calyx,” I replied, “because of how it sounds and what it means. It’s also a literary journal I just submitted to.”

“What does it mean?” she asked.

“I think it’s the curl of a petal.”

We looked up the full definition.

“The sepals of a flower, typically forming a whorl that encloses the petals and forms a protective layer around a flower in bud.”


A Calyx is beautiful by simply being what it is.


Finally, when I had free time, I read over the letter in Submittable. My poems were among a small group being held to be discussed by the Editorial Collective in mid-January. Even if the Editors don’t provide a full acceptance, I feel less of a nihilist knowing that someone beyond the periphery of my own existence read and appreciated my work.


Here’s to another spin around the sun.


Cheers!

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