Army Mom’s Safe Haven



Christina: Some Thoughts on FlowersAt 10 or so, I sent
50 cents and a box-top
to a cereal company,
and received a clump of
bare “branches” in return.
Our yard was large
and I walked about halfway
back, to plant them.
For all the time
we lived there, we had
red roses with a lovely scent.
The bush grew large and lush
and I thrilled, every spring,
to see the first small buds.

When I was 13, a boy
gave me a pink orchid to wear
on the lavender dress
I wore in our school musical.
I was the only girl to
receive a flower and I didn’t
know whether to be
embarrassed or proud.

When I turned 13, my grandmother
gave me 13 pink carnations and
a box of Whitman’s candy –
because I was now a young lady.
Carnations are still
my favorite flower.

On the front porch of my
childhood home,
lilacs grew up and over the
front, and filled the
porch and yard with sweetness –

Over the years
I have received flowers –
For my 21st birthday;
and on my 22nd birthday,
my mother-in-law ordered
roses on behalf of my husband
who was in Vietnam;
Flowers came after surgeries, for my
60th birthday, flowers
that marked the birth of my son,
and other occasions
that made me smile.

When my mother died,
we each put a yellow rose
in the casket with her.
My mother loved flowers
and had a green thumb –
and when I think of her,
I think of marigolds and tulips,
and her planting in the sun…

In my backyard, we have a
large lilac bush
and I wait all year to see them bloom.
I cut the flowers and put small
bunches in almost every room.

In 2001, I spoke at the Moving Wall.
I took 3 yellow roses with me –
and I remember wishing that
I had a flower for them all –

Instead, I placed the 3 in special places,
and bending down, I could see
in the Wall,
reflections of other faces –

No two Flowers
are exactly the same,
Their fragrances comfort,
and the essences remain…

Spring is on her way
Soon, Winter will be gone.
And we, winter-weary,
and yearning for flowers,
will gratefully, move on.

Submitted for the February 2010 IWVPA Club Theme Project, “Flowers