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Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2005 09:36 pm

People’s poetry

Edited by Corrine Frisch

The Flowers

You missed the flowers of late summer,
When the black-eyed Susans would return your gaze,
Compass their petals outward, bright sunlight rays
Of wasted effort while you slumber.
I cut pink bright stars for your bedside,
Which provide contrast to hospital whiteness
And your drug-induced coma, bringing lightness
To your true state, about which best lied.

Tea roses blush outside your windows,
From a wet fall flourish of ripening buds,
Greet your garden return and memory floods
Of their faint fragrance when the wind blows.
Silverlace blossoms for your review,
Once propped up on your bed toward the pergola,
Are like delicate tatting, with your soul a
Short step from eternity’s preview.

The peppermint poinsettias add
Radiance to the funeral home’s pallor,
As we remaining mortals praise your valor
esprit de corps that you once had.
I brought your Christmas amaryllis,
A late bloomer, much like yourself during life,
Rising up tall through the worst of winter’s strife,
Both with warm colors which instill us.

Through vestiges of early-spring snows,
Crocuses emerge upward near your headstone,
Which you instructed last autumn that there sown
Would burst before nearby dogwood rows.
I stand awkwardly, my mind cowers
From your lesson to me of shedding no tears,
Showing how to walk through the fire of our fears,
As if it were a field of flowers.

— Mark Allen
From Springfield, Mark Allen started writing poems four years ago, drawing inspiration from the African poet Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah. He spent the first year writing a collection of poems for his wife, as a Christmas present. “The Flowers” was written this past year.
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