Flowers, Peddled

June 16, 2013

It’s for sale, Miss Hortense, to rise and hear
seventeen years of silence in a cicada’s drone,
a flower sale, fresh daises far from home,
stately petunias—

Why, even the earthworms
have come here for the peonies.
How fearful salvation is in the intense glare
of an empty holiness, eh, Miss Hortense?

It is as if you too had been buried in
a kind of flooded earth,
one bee circling a last tulip
in a sky you can’t begin to believe in.

So rise. Pretend to become a lion
on a final lonely hunt,
seeking its scent-markings in the soil—
imagine the mountain phlox, violets,

extravagant wild roses,
all peddled and beheaded,
their fragrance resolved.

 

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2 Responses to “Flowers, Peddled”

  1. Anna Mark Says:

    This poem has many images that I find gripping. The silence in the cicada’s drone really sends me off listening. Cicadas and earthworms, underground creatures buried in a kind of flooded earth, flooded earth? Miss Hortense’s call to rise, to roam the earth like a lion on a lonely hunt, but only imagining the flowers she’ll find, or not find. This poem seems apocalyptic. The resolve at the end seems to carry a sense of death, gloomy finality, but also fulfillment, salvation. This is a provocative poem : )

  2. John Stevens Says:

    It’s good to be back reading blogs after a 2 week absence, Jim. Poor Miss Hortense though … I hope she manages to rise up and find those extravagant wild roses, “their fragrance resolved”.


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