Guardians of the Sill

By Andrea Ellickson

She loved how the Latin names felt on her tongue
enchanting and languorous, like:

Ferocactus cylindraceus

Other times it was their common names that made her laugh
pure sweetness
like talking with caramel stuck
between her teeth:

            Hen and Chicks
            Irish Mittens
                         Opuntia monacantha

Lying in her bed
prickly silhouettes along her windowsill
soft chenille blanket tucked up to her chin
she watched over them
and they over her.

Andrea Ellickson writes novels about wildfire girls, Filipino legends, and family curses. She has traveled to over 30 countries to soak up stories and chase her curiosity. She currently works in the Department of Global Studies at UC Santa Barbara, where she is eagerly awaiting a time when it’s safe to travel again. Also by this poet: "A Crow Named Zorro"