Floral Tradition

I told him I do not like cut flowers.
Colombian workers, pennies per hour, chemicals baths,
pick your poison.
Porn is no fun
when all you can think is
Those poor girls.
 
In autumn, he brought a cutting of lavender
dried and dropping a cascade of violet nibs
all over the bedroom floor.
It came from a local farm
where it had been put up in the rafters last spring.
 
At our first dusting of snow,
he wound silk ribbon in purple and blue
around a taped stem
until it became two roses
fastened in place with pins.
 
In February, when other women in the office
received their fragrant splashes
carried in on cargo planes from sunnier places,
he set upon my desk a Dracaena
in a pot of soft soil,
its minute trunk grown from infancy
in the shape of a heart.
 
When April became summer,
he plodded, sleep-deprived and stomach growling,
on a winding trail along a creek
because I asked.
I saw a spray of white blossoms
but walked on because he needed to eat.
He stopped for me. Planted his feet.
 
“Come look at your flowers,” he said.
I did. Sugared petals threaded with candy floss.
He motioned to the purple ones and bent to help with those.
 
Spring Beauties.
Wild Sweet William.
Blue Creeping Phlox.

My collection grows.
 
Alongside his,
the names bloom
from my tongue.

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