C.N.P Poetry 

  • Cathexis Northwest Press

On a Migraine Day I Felt Oddly at One with the Squash

By: Josephine Pino



I am the hollow ends of the stems


grown out of control. I await the hatchet, forlorn


in open mouthed surprise, even as


climbing tendrils of pain


gain their purchase, grinning -


and commas of


prickly zucchini held close in their arms





Josephine is a scientist by training, an educator by heart and a writer by nature. She lives in Oregon and frequently writes about invertebrates and trees. Her work has appeared in various journals including Fourth River, Raw Art Review, Tiny Seed Literary Journal and High Shelf Press.


"I suppose it wouldn't surprise anyone to learn that I wrote 'On a Migraine Day I Felt Oddly at One with the Squash' while I had a migraine headache. The sad thing is, that it was about a month in a half into one very long migraine headache in the middle of the pandemic when many of us were already feeling frustrated and trapped. On this particular day, during late Summer of 2020, with forest fire smoke filing the air, I decided that perhaps a visit to our small vegetable garden was in order. I hadn't been out to see it in days because of the smoke. When I approached, I had a distinct moment in which I truly did feel in sync with the giant zucchini plant that my husband had just trimmed. Giant leaves were stacked nearby and several bluntly cut hollow stems seemed to just stare at me as though to say 'What in the world is happening to all of us?! Nothing is normal. It is painful, and all I can do is keep waiting for the sunshine while I hold on to my little babies for dear life.' And so I grabbed the small notebook I often carry and this little poem emerged out of the haze."