The Mustard Queen

My kind covered the Dijon slopes,
aching upwards into the sunshine
as Grand Cru ripened on vines.

Spells of courtship, selection, fertilization
by Tomato Man,
slowly learning bittersweet sensations
of thickening.

Womb becomes room in the cosmic swaddle of bloody love.

Tumescent Mum-Bag,
belly ripening upon stalks of myself,
tongue craving salty seeds, sour dressings, thick greens squeaking ‘tween teeth.
Every sense exudes complexities seemingly indicative of special harvest,
one worth laying down, keeping up on the shelf;
I grew this special vintage of myself.

Belly burned, an aching, spasmodic poker.
The gelatinous puddle of lady gravy landed in the soil at my feet
— my first inundation in months —
flesh flushed, unplanted (not uprooted) just unplanted.
I was pruning in the vineyard when it happened.

Where does one put the sorrow? The rage.

“We’ll try again.”
She never even got a chance to know how much she is loved, how much she was wanted. I look toward the horizon line, and think on next harvest.


Meghan Sutherland is a poet and freelance editor. Her prose has appeared in the Clarington This Week, and she was the recipient of the OECTA young writers award. She has also appeared in de.Pressed magazine for her poem Hints of Stonefruit, as well as on the online websites HubPages and We Have Kids for the confessional article “A New Parent’s Exhausting Journey Through a Baby’s First Cold.” Meghan has a blog brimming with personalized essays, and has most recently been published in Ontario OUT of DOORS magazine.