Published as a 2019 'Poem in Your Pocket' for National Poetry Month, League of Canadian Poets
A Run on Flowers
Spring bursts through everywhere,
so briefly. Air light
and lifting. A run on
flowers at the shop.
Nothing’s up yet. The selection thin,
a few stems he takes
to her. When she asks
after their names he will pretend
to have forgotten.
Quilted to her bed, she
should be up, out walking, the south face
of each cracked and storied Grandview sidewalk
now free of snow. Melt
spilling off the lip
of gutters, his car idling in the drive.
She reached to catch a falling sister, them both
failing, the wheelchair rolling aside, she says. Stupid.
I shouldn’t have been so
stupid. Her back out good
now. He waves the tinted pastel
petals and she raises a weak backhand,
gesturing to the bedside table. A magazine folded
open. You should read about that author,
Margaret Laurence. She lived quite the ordinary life.
She smooths the quilt, her torso and legs such
soft furrows. An eroding landscape.
It’s such a short season, she says.
That’s all. Yes, he says. Well,
I have to run. Later, he will wonder
if he left without remembering
to put the flowers in water.
thanks to Joanna Streetly / tofinopoetlaureate.com for image