Christopher Ankney


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Purple towers sprout from the ground.
You kept calling them thistle, ushered
the boys outside to release some
of the stress. Last year, we cleaned
what we thought the entire yard by root,
before it seeded. The news rattles
off doomsday stories of recession.
Bodies left at home and in basements
of hospitals. When we stay away
we give the earth a chance to grow.
Dolphins become gondoliers.
Deadnettle spreads like planned
communities. We’ve been inside
our minds so long our tinged bodies shake
with what we aren’t sure is religion
or disease – and we remain unsure
from breath to breath, even our apps
can’t track with precision, containment.

Christopher Ankney

is a

Guest Contributor for Panorama.

Christopher Ankney's first book, Hearsay, won the 2014 Jean Feldman Prize at WWPH. Post-publication, it placed as a finalist for the Ohioana Award for Poetry. His poems have been published in places such as Boston Review, Electric Literature's The Commuter, Gulf Coast, Jet Fuel Review, Poetry South, Prairie Schooner, Verse Daily. He is a tenured professor at the two-year College of Southern Maryland, and he lives in Annapolis, Maryland, with his wife and two sons. His author website is


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