May Flowers

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
Visiting a place no one wants to go on a bright May morning. A tanka sequence.

Submitted: March 03, 2007

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Submitted: March 03, 2007

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A A A


The flower seller
is like a dried out rose
with forget-me-not eyes
I buy a dozen white mums-
she gives me an extra red

I walk down the street
with my arms full of flowers
whistling a soft tune
I pass through the iron gate
of a forgotten graveyard

A warm southern wind
stirs the petals on the flowers
as I lay them down
on the graves of memories
sleeping, wilted, forgotten?

One white bloom for each grave
for Rose, Lily, Lavender,
Violet, Rosemary,
and for her husband Adam,
the old gardener

One for the lady
who grew lilacs each Spring
and in the Autumn
picked red apples from the tree
her son planted before the war

One for the soldier
who liked to smoke on his porch
beside a basket
of blueberries, strawberries,
and a bowl of soft white cream

One for the old man
who brought fresh peas and cabbage
to all the neighbors
each summer, when he always
wore his straw hat like a crown

One for the actress
who broke hearts in her day
Her dressing room
overflowing with blooms whose beauty
paled in comparison to hers

One each for the graves
of two lively old maids
who kept no garden
but each summer, paid the children
for dandelions in a vase

I leave the red rose
to bloom on a tombstone
smaller than the rest
for a baby girl whose name
had nothing to do with flowers


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