On the side of my small house, where nobody looks, save our beloved eight-year-old black Lab, Roxxanne (spelled correctly), I planted St. John’s Wort, a plant that grows well in partial shade. In a corner, next to the shed, surrounded by a short wall of decorative bricks, I had placed a starter, not so much because I was attracted to its pink-yellow buds–though I very much was–but because it would act as a barricade to Roxxanne’s rebellious digging. It worked. Gone are the holes and here are the buds that flower into airy yellow starbursts, dotting a bush that now, two summers later, is five feet high.
Who knew that St. John’s Wort acts, too, as a defense against depression, against anxiety, against sleepless nights. I don’t digest it or drink it, but I do walk by it, once in a while, and when I do, I stop and bend, grateful that something so delicate and lovely thrives, despite.
In this summer issue of Club Plum, Volume 1, Issue 3, you will find a wondrous, eclectic small space of voices in text and imagery. Please step inside. Listen and watch. Drink iced tea or iced coffee and sit. Learn something new. Make new friends. I’m honored to be able to host this gathering.
Yours in words and art,
Thea Swanson is a feminist atheist who holds an MFA in Writing from Pacific University in Oregon. She is the Founding Editor of Club Plum Literary Journal, and her poetry, fiction, essays and reviews are published in places such as World Literature Today, Mid-American Review and Northwest Review.