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.
The painted red mailbox flag will
Call for correspondence that may never come, or go
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
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.