The problem with flowers
Is that they die
but before they limp over
the side of the vase, they
turn the clear water to snot.
Primordial ooze that begins
a stench about the third day
and permeates the whole
house by the fourth.
There’s no conflict in fragrances.
the slimy stench of the water
doesn’t vie with the non fragrance
of the hothouse flowers that had no
scent to start with save the smell dank soil.
Sometimes flowers last a week
and you can spend a daily task
snipping off the rotted or diseased
places or taking a flower out here and there
that has already wimped out,
then you have a thread bare bouquet
left to look at and admire for a few more days
as you watch the death descend,
approach each petal, each leaf,
each stem and take over your thoughts.
What possesses people to give
flowers as gifts… Your dad just died
and it helps to see this bouquet
of Forget-me-not's shrivel and die before
your eyes? Who’s idea was this to torture
the tortured; to send death disguised
as a thoughtful gift? I know their
meaning, and the gift they represent,
but the problem with flowers
is that they die.
April 3, 2009