The Language of Dead Flowers
Some flowers wilt softly into mulch.
Others crackle and prick like autumn leaves
My mum was a spiky sort.
At the funeral: relations, colleagues, no friends
And flowers, both kinds.
Like flowers often do, she died alone.
The roses are for love
That withered before the body,
Beauty, like wisteria, doesn’t last.
Zinnias sometimes do, stiff unlovely things.
But once she wore a veil
And was crowned in--
Why do they call it baby’s breath?
Do infants breath in icicles
She had a lilac core
A perfume, if you will
Heavy on the alcohol, too heavy
But still something sweet hid behind rough twigs
Before winter came.
Chrysanthemums stand guard.
They are steadfast, chrysanthemums.