National Poetry Month: Vince Gotera '71 of U of Northern Iowa
Posted 04/02/2018 08:00AM

April is National Poetry Month, and to celebrate this, SI is publishing works by alumni and student poets. Here is the first.

Palm Sunday

by Vince Gotera '71

When I was a kid at Saint Agnes
in San Francisco, on Palm Sunday
we would weave crosses from our palm leaves,

just long dried sprigs, almost like flat sticks.
You were supposed to keep them a year
till next Palm Sunday, and then burn them.

Today in church, the kids got green leaves,
soft and pliable. I found I yearned
for stiff blades of palm. Sweet memories.

Vince Gotera is a professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa, where he was Editor of the North American Review (2000-2016). He is now Editor of Star*Line, the print journal of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association. "Palm Sunday" has 9 lines of 9 syllables each, modeled after Sylvia Plath's poem "Metaphors."

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