red poppy in a vase indoors


I left our garden in June.

It was my fault – what happened to you next

Blame it on the staccato nod I flung to the

Man mowing so close

To your budding faces.

The same man who had lifted my veil and

Wrapped a ringlet of my red hair around his finger

And vowed to always care for me,

His “delicate flower.”

Severed and stung, I fled the scene

Clutching our jar of coins

To trade smooth coins for hard cash,

And a light love for lingering loss.

Without me, Dear Poppies,

As the Ladies of the Land,

You shaded the purple velvet pansies at your feet –

Our little girls.

Closing your eyes to the tender spring breeze

Waiting for a warmth that would never come,

You refused to bloom.

And the pansies, they looked to you so eagerly:

“Sisters! It’s June,

Open! See! Bloom!”

Stretching, clenching, ready to burst,

When I returned,

You were gone, your necks snapped.

Wacked to the ground.

Our little girls

Eyes white against their

Rumpled velvet faces

Peered up at the space you once held.

It was a careful cut.

He had made them watch.

Your never-blushing buds

Wrinkled noses lost in the mulch

Scrambled between bits of your bristly stems;

My planted prelude to love left splinters.

And so, I left our garden in June.  

But never mind, me.

Dear Poppies, you are special,

The Persian flower of love.

Your kind flutters freely through fields in the east

And here, with us, you can find the morning light.

Let the quiet winds of March coax you up, out and through

From the depths, soar past the chimney behind you

And kindle the fire within

Your translucent petals, snatching the sun.

Becoming the sun.

My flower, you are of the Heartbeat variety

Whose blooms blend wine with blood;

You are the new heart of this home.

Its front door stained, the

Red of slapped cheeks, of freckles on fire

The shade I once blushed

When his and my noses nodded no.

Eskimo kisses

Turned cold.

The painted red mailbox flag will

Call for correspondence that may never come, or go

For apologies

Too fargone to fly.

Amidst the quietude, fear not the riotous gales of winter

For you are not so frail, and neither are your icy sisters.

Trust they will prevail

And you will rise.

You’ll emerge in Spring

Buds bursting with silky needles

Seeds descending upon the sweating soil

Your leaves settling to dust in Summer.

In this cycle you are safe

For he who cuts you down, builds you up;

He risks your roots running wild.

He forces your growth.

Ladies of the Land,

The person who breaks you

Makes you

Bloom brighter.

My Poppies!

Flutter or fall, both are your fate.

Promise me this:

Even when your parchment petals waver

You’ll forever remind your maker

Of when I left our garden in June. 



5 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want to grow your own?

Sign up for my newsletter!

Follow The Quarantined Gardener on