Couldn’t keep him alive and with me.
They tried, I think.
Everyday, buckets of lavender roses—
sirens of scent, soft-hued petals of gentleness—
lined the path home. And I bought at least one a day,
panicking at their rare and ominous absence.
Lavender roses were not native to Berkeley, California—
neither was I—but he was native enough to
accept a daily bloom without wonder at
reversed gender roles or the need for flowers.
No wonder that days when I was penniless,
vendors would hand me the precious rose as I passed.
No wonder that since he died, lavender roses
disappeared—or was it I who left their magic behind?
I moved to the busy East Coast of America,
toured Canada and Mexico as much as New England
where I was most at home. Restless, I roamed sea shores
and mountains until too tired to move anymore.
In love’s bouquet gathered throughout my life, he was
the lavender roses, the color of calm wealth
amid the baby’s breath, chrysanthemum and stock,
the carnations, daisies, tulips and snapdragons.
The dry petals—scentless and brown—that lie in glass
and cardboard peace, the dead contents of my china
cabinet—trigger lively memories in whichI still carry lavender roses to my love.
For my prompt at
My blog poems are rough drafts.
Please respect my copyright.
© 2016 Susan L. Chast