What is it to be flowers in the coldest week of winter?
To express yourself amid leaves smooth as plastic,
to be warning orange, pink, a dark-striped lily,
yellow streaked with crimson at the throat?
You are carnation, a flurry of white nostalgia.
You are open, open, on show as yourself
and as sign, inexplicably meant to be saving.
Rootless, you float in clear liquid, in a belly of glass.
The long, dark preparation you went through,
weeks pushing upward, has been severed at last.
You are a gamble with time. You are all we can find
while we wait, breathing the least. You are beauty
declaring to us not you must change your life
but this moment is calling, you are already changed.
Originally from New York, Anne Myles retired early from her position as an English professor at the University of Northern Iowa and is working on an MFA in poetry at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work has appeared in Lavender Review, Whale Road Review, Green Briar Review, Gyroscope Review, North American Review, and other journals. She walks her dog in the woods and wonders about what’s next.
© 2019, Anne Myles