Her neck rises from the white lace necklaced with a black velvet band soft as her pink and purple garden petunias. Syllables of velvet from a tender perennial. Flowers blackened by Death still blooming annually.
Emily created as a young girl (before the poetry) a herbarium in which she collected 424 flowers from the Amherst region. She called them “beautiful children of spring,” and arranged them in a 66-page large leather-bound album with labels of the common names and sometimes the official Linnaean ones. All are in her elegant handwriting. I don’ think she had a black petunia in the book, but I think she would have liked the flower.
A poem by Emily – #334
All the letters I can write Are not fair as this— Syllables of Velvet— Sentences of Plush, Depths of Ruby, undrained, Hid, Lip, for Thee— Play it were a Humming Bird— And just sipped—me—
It’s not dusting, vacuuming or straightening up. It’s permanent organization for your everyday life. It’s the cleaning your family would do after your death, being done by you. Clear conscience and shelves in the afterlife.
“Every living thing is turning into something else.” – Ovid
All of your poems that remain unwritten. Promises to and from family not kept. Urn of ashes on a son’s mantle. Things read aloud to laughter and tears, now lost in the country of time.
Laura Boss was an American, award-winning poet and a friend and mentor. She was the founder and Editor of Lips poetry magazine for four decades. Laura died on April 9, 2021, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.
A mourning cloak on a cool morning on a walk through the cemetery. It is quiet but for whispered prayers.
She touches a headstone in the sun. Her yellow skirt escaping the dark cloak.
Nymphalis antiopa, the mourning cloak, is a large butterfly native to Eurasia and North America. The immature form of this species is sometimes known as the spiny elm caterpillar which has a toxic substance in its hairs or spines that can cause a very painful reaction if you touch it,
These butterflies have a lifespan of 11 to 12 months, one of the longest lifespans for any butterfly.