Garden Beds and Hospital Beds

you left pieces of yourself everywhere.

 

lipstick residue on the rim of coffee mugs,

and lingering perfume on my clothes.

 

i could never escape your presence.

 

tulips hugging the soil.

you would have loved them.

 

even when you weren't physically there.

i knew— you would have loved those garden beds.

 

tightly tucked in.

 

standing with a subtle limp,

wrinkled petals still hanging on

 

they would have reminded you of your mother.

 

the one who can be found

in a hospital bed.

 

sheets wrinkled to match her laugh lines,

a crooked smile with no teeth always waiting.

 

she’d spot us from across the room.

 

her petals are worn;

she can no longer stand.

 

sitting with a subtle limp,

facing the walls.

 

it must have been hard to grow,

blocked from the sunlight.

 

her colors faded,

veins looking like overgrown roots.

 

her hand held out

to hold mine.

 

it was winter when she passed away;

i wrote this in spring

 

she was better then,

blossoming and vibrant

 

you would never pick flowers.

 

shriveled and dying

or blossoming and vibrant.

 

you'd leave them be,

and it all makes sense now.

 

you hugged me the night she passed away,

the way tulips hug the soil.

 

i can tell why they’re your favorite flowers.