Friday, February 20, 2015

Why I don't Save Flowers

You spoil me with flowers.
Red roses at my door
on Valentine’s day.  Bouquets
brought home
fresh and fragrant
from the grocery store.
You are lavish in your flower
giving.  Petals strewn
across the floor, leading to the bed
where they lay in wait of romance, heart-shaped.
So, now,
our house is full of flowers:
                 in bloom
and wilting in their vases;
some now long expired.

You asked me once, long ago
why I don’t save flowers.
Why I don’t
hang and dry and tuck away
as memory.

I said that once I had

and I know it hurt your feelings.  Once I made
a collection out of flowers,
hung upside down on every wall
of my girlhood bedroom
single and in bunches tied with ribbon.
A flower gallery.
Each, reminder of a date or dance attended,
an apology or an attempt.  I knew
    each story,
each suitor.

Six years worth of accumulated flowers
finally taken down and trashed
when my parents split and sold their house.
Not one do I now recall
as special.  Not one do I remember
for individual sentiment.

Only
once more
after that
did I save
these emblems
given, these emblems destined only to die.

When the petals turned
from purest
red
to crimson black,
I placed them in the vase they came in,
perched this on my dresser.  Honestly,
I don’t remember the exact
    occasion
for which these were received.

Twelve years, four children, eight houses
and countless lies and broken promises later, I still had them.
I don’t
remember when they were given
but I do remember
when I let them go.  Crumpled,
dust layered,
now shelved inside
a closet.  I pulled them down and ceremoniously
threw them out, vase and all.
This act, more symbolic
than the actual flowers. 

I did this when I met you.

You, the flower giver.  You,
who shower me with bright
and beautiful bouquets.  That sit
and pose and rest
around the house;
that we photograph and draw
and paint
and for however poor
we always seem to be,
I feel gloriously well-off at the sight of these.
And I keep them even when
they’re drooping, faded and dried
up…until you bring me more and I’m out of vases.
Then I have no problem tossing so I can just replace.

And I guess the reason
I’ve saved none
is just that I don’t need to.
I have you.  You are the ever-living bright spot in my life,
the ever-giving blooming show of love.

You are the best arrangement:

almond flower promise of always and forever.
ambrosia because you love me too,
crimson carnation
to represent my passion,
mauve for what I dream of, and pearl for faithfulness.
so many tiny dots of cherry blossoms
for your many beauties,
leaning daffodil of brand new days,
creamy elderflower for your sweetness,
and white heather speckled bell-shaped flowers mean that you protect me,
lavender and honeysuckle for your devotion,
and simple, gorgeous jasmine for this unconditional love,
rainbow array of lilies, lotus for rebirth, and seashore mallow because I’m utterly consumed.
There is peach blossom because I never want our life together to end
and blossom of pear because we share a lasting friendship,
primroses in a circle speak to our eternal love, the trueness of this is seen in scarlet roses
and finally fuchsia displays my gratitude. 


And so I could give up flowers all together and forever if forever I’ll have you.

5 comments:

  1. This is quite a poem the flowers pulled from you. I am fascinated that this grew out of you to such length and yet no redundancies of story, or unnecessary parts. In such a short time! This is going to be enjoyable to reread and see what I missed.

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