FLOWER WIDE-EYED AND OPEN

Last days of row houses on Bradford street in Baltimore, MD.

 

  FLOWER WIDE-EYED AND OPEN

When she was at her worst
She was still interested in flowers,
Touching the petals gently
Before ripping them off.

For a long time, it was all destruction,
Until she found the bulb
Lying on top of a flower bed,
Pushed out by the hidden spite
Of things in the earth beneath it.

‘Just like me,’ she said, picking it up,
Planting it in the blue window box
Full of dark earth and seashells,
Not even glancing at it till Christmas.

Then, of course, she destroyed it,
For where she had expected a flower
She found snakes, and swearing they had bitten her,
Mashed it all up in her hands.

That bulb, sending out its delicate thin roots,
Keen as mustard to multiply,
Didn’t stand a chance.

Next time, we’ll give her a fat rosy bulb,
Flower already wide-eyed and open.

                           © 2020 Gwen Grant

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