The Flowers

The flowers in the living room have all faded

red & white roses yellow tulips blue & white irises


The love shouted from the roof-top on a Sunday

by Friday lingers but in the memory of a familiar tune

the lovely words of which we can no longer recall 


There’s really nothing sadder than a spent rose

except an iris whose petals are now dragonfly wings

or tulips suffering from terminal erectile dysfunction


And how hard it is to acknowledge the bloom is gone

wrap at last love’s fading memories in a paper shroud

lay them at last to rest with the other envelopes of time


The garden knows no vase Nor love a vocabulary

It blooms bright & well past its season seamlessly

yielding its brilliance to the blossoms yet to be


We cannot write love’s words onto the page

of a book for which we can secure a copyright

Rather like rain they fall to dry soil & disappear


And the garden awakens each fresh morning

confident in time showers & sunshine will fall

the soil find in all the fading the nutrient of life


‘Tell me again that you love me!’ is but a rose

cut from the thorny stem that alone has the power

to say ‘I will love you forever’ Once cut it dies


Let my poem then be a living garden each word

a leaf a petal a stem But do not take me home

where upon the book shelf of your life I will die


The flowers in the living room have all faded

red & white roses yellow tulips blue & white irises


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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