Vase of Dahlias, 1883, Claude Monet
I cut dahlias to fill the vase
so that they would greet you today
when you returned from the doctor’s office –
but you didn’t notice them until now.
You said they looked sad and wilted.
An elegant name for what is often
considered a weed. Wild carrot. White flower.
They recall a runner my mother placed
on the dining room table for holidays.
A purple drop from a wine glass.
The hot days and cool nights marked
by garden tiger lilies and roadside rogues
and early cherry tomatoes that I pick
and eat here in my shaded chair –
book, pencil, paper, iced tea, these words.
The house of spring is being closed.
The tulips, daffodils and irises have bloomed.
The lawn is a rain-soaked jungle green.
But everyone wants a beach house now.
Sun. Sand. No flowers or grass. Ocean.
A line of cars leave the funeral
led by one sprouting too many flowers.
Driving slowly, headlights on, ignoring the stoplight,
some passengers serious and somber, others laughing.
Hopefully, all for the same mournful reasons.