a drawing by Lisa Hammond

a drawing by Lisa Hammond
a drawing by Lisa Hammond from the midlands Jasper Project Fall Lines reading, 2018

Lily Watch

In Lily Watch, Lisa Hammond hones in on “the sharp dividing line / between some befores and afters,” those cherished yet hard to capture moments of blossoming, the holy spaces where longing and gratification meet. These are poems of experience—they know enough of life and its struggles to not be fooled, which makes the astonishment they describe feel all the more true.

—Jim May is writer-in-residence at Mercer University and a 2021 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in Poetry. He is the author of Unquiet Things, published by Louisiana State University Press. 

Lily Watch. New Orleans: Small Fires Press, 2021
A hand-trimmed and hand-tied limited chapbook
Limited edition of 49 copies
Selected for the Summer Kitchen Chapbook Series
Available from Small Fires Press

Lily Watch


Peach Season


A California peach brings only sorrow, mealy reminder of what should be. So we drive an hour to the farm, where I have bought good South Carolina peaches with my mother, my cousin, my friends, my children, and now you. I made jam every summer for years. I have learned that peaches outlast husbands. We buy sweet corn, Clemson blue cheese. We missed the strawberries. Tonight I will make tomato sandwiches, which you think you don’t like, but you’ve never had a homegrown tomato. Your life is about to change, I tell you. I pry you away from the preserves with a promise, my mother’s bread and butter pickles. When she met you, she said, that boy doesn’t have an ounce of country in him, but you know enough. We are here for the peaches, your first real peach. Today I begin teaching you the language of peaches: June Prince, cling, Summer Gold, freestone. The fruit pulls away from the stone or it holds fast.