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What Kinds of Flowers Bloom in the Arctic? - Elizabeth Markley

Marigolds or roses?

Dahlias and forget-me-nots?

Easter lilies?

Like the ones that grew on the hill

In Charlottesville


Flowers blossoming in the Arctic

That’s the gist

(Antarctica’s Floral Awakening: How Climate Change is Transforming the Continent’s Ecosystem[1])

If you gravitate

To pain


What good is it to know

The name of what ends you

Would the dinosaurs care

What their asteroid is called

(The Chicxulub impactor, so you know)


Did you forget

That flowers mark death?

Funerals and gravesites

Wreaths above closed caskets

The best poisons taste sweet


Soon, maybe, those northern reaches will hold

Humid nights and honeysuckle

Cicadas lumbering towards the surface

Distant memories of ice

In their song

[1] Singh, Geetika. "Antarctica’s Floral Awakening: How Climate Change is Transforming the Continent’s Ecosystem.", 5 Oct. 2023, 


Elizabeth Markley is a writer living in Atlanta, Georgia. She has published several short stories and poems across various literary journals, including Haunted Waters Press, The Feminine Collective, and the Raw Art Review. When not writing, she is kept busy by her three children under the age of eight. You can read about her writing adventures at

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