The Language of Flowers by Karen Kelsay

I never knew you held a rosary
of lilies in your heart, or meadows filled
with songbirds in your hand, that chirped and trilled
into the night. I could not sense the sea,
or brimming emerald pools that filled your days
and buoyed you up, when morning could not find
one star. Your quiet life is intertwined
with jasmine flowers, washed in amber haze
of dusk— and I now see your fortitude
in fullest bloom. It laces up the wall,
determined petals, glorious and small.
Their silent strength has oft been misconstrued.
While evening’s muted colors touch your leaves,
I watch them wander upward, to the eaves.
To read Karen’s bio and find more of her verse published on WIZ, go here.

*non-contest submission*

3 thoughts on “The Language of Flowers by Karen Kelsay”

  1. Beautiful descriptions. I love the personification, especially the cool but strong attributes. I particularly enjoyed this: “and I now see your fortitude in fullest bloom. It laces up the wall.”

  2. I can smell the lilies and the jasmine. Those flowers both represent purity to me… this poem seems to me, to be about that somehow. Purity or chastity, or determination in the face of loneliness, maybe.

  3. Thank you, Sean and Sarah.

    I appreciate the comments. I wrote this when my mother was diagnosed with cancer last year. Happy to report she is fine now.

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