Garland

The Woman Who Wore Flowers

A woman wears a flower each day.  She grew up in the country and knows the name of every bloom.  People note her comings and goings.  “There she is,” they say, and they know it is Monday, because she wears blue: an iris, perhaps, or an aster.  Sunday is a white lily.  Each day a different color, a different flower, for what do they know of names?  They do not know that she is also a drier of flowers.  Each day she presses a wilting flower into a book, the daily blossom marring the texts of the volumes of county histories her father published, the portraits of the founders of the county streaked by yarrow lace, creating a jaundiced face.  Her Bible stores the miracles of rose, dahlia, lily.  Even her diary, her son discovers upon her death, is not the language and story of the past, but a journal of days spent carrying beauty.  And what is the past, he thinks, but something that grew each day as we tucked it in?  He looks at the withered flowers—stamen, pistil, petal.  He breathes in dust, but smells honeysuckle, jasmine, his mother.

 

"The Woman Who Wore Flowers," first appeared in New Mexico Poetry Review; reprinted in seveneightfive

 

 

 

 

 

Garland

Stone with word "me" carved in it

Sundial

Errant plant

Clump of grass

Quilt of flowers

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