Poem 35: Dead flowers

(The poetic form selected for this month is the Standard Habbie aka Burns Stanza).

The flowers you left when I was ill
Lie dead upon my window sill.
The flowers are dead, not me, you dill!
I’m still alive!
I’ll throw them out, I think I will.
They won’t revive.

You left these flowers when you left me,
You said our love was dead, you see,
And you had wanted to be free
And not enchained.
I know that what will be will be
But little’s gained.

I hope you love the life you choose.
I cook a meal and watch the News.
I clean the house; don’t touch the booze.
If you were here
The things we hold I’d never lose.
Dead flowers don’t care.

16 thoughts on “Poem 35: Dead flowers

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Thanks, Andrea. It’s difficult to know when writing fiction in a poem, if it’s an insidious form of insincerity… it perhaps reads “autobiographically” but it isn’t.

      Reply
  1. arlingwoman

    This is interesting to me. It almost seems like three different stories–one per stanza–a whole trio of dead flower stories, or the ways they can have some meaning. I’ve always been a stickler for the fresh bouquet. Years ago I worked in an office where women who got flowers kept them until the flowers were really quite dead and the water a bit green. Once I asked about the dead flowers and got an answer that amounted to something like “I get them so seldom I want to hold onto them,” which I found alarming on many levels. In any event, I’d be interested if you meant this to be a continuum (which would be bad, someone leaving when someone was ill) or three little stories. Actually, leaving someone dead flowers because it’s over is kind of bad, too…

    Reply
    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Thanks, Lisa. I’m not sure whether I intended it to be three separate things or not!! The same thought struck me – why is she giving flowers and leaving etc. In the long run the poem just happened! See my note here in response to Andrea’s comment.

      Reply
      1. arlingwoman

        Oh, I never impute autobiography to something (and am disappointed by whiffs of it) so I assumed it was a story or three vignettes, which is what I shall continue to assume. Three stories of flowers given and left. That’s sort of what poetry is about, really–recognition.

        Reply
  2. simon682

    Such power in the three words “I’m still alive” but these are trumped by the deadening finality of “They won’t revive”. Plenty to deconstruct here. Marvellous stuff!

    Reply

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