Remember

by Art Heifetz

Despite a notice in the paper
Requesting contributions
In lieu of flowers,
They continued to arrive,
Like uninvited guests,
The buds of bereavement
The petals of sorrow,
A lush memorial? of
Stately peace lilies with stylish fronds,
Thorny bushes of miniature roses,
Daffodils like prissy schoolgirls,
The flimsy pots swaddled
In crinkly green foil,
The senders identified by
Brief notes of consolation
Clipped to plastic stakes
Pressed firmly in the soil.

At the first heady rush
Of temperate weather,
He planted them in his garden,
The roses beside the mailbox
The daffodils in the rear,
Encircling the massive oak
Which towered above the deck,
And the lilies by the birdbath.

He marveled at their
Rare exuberance,
Returning year after year,
Thrusting their stems
Insistently
Through the hard clay soil,
Their blooms growing
Ever more exquisite
Even as the faces
Of the ones he?d loved
Grew fainter,
As if the dead were
Reaching out to him
And saying,
We once were thus,
Remember us.
###

 

Retired State Farm insurance agent, returning to his first love, poetry. At urging of friends, began to publish in June. 16 poems accepted thus far. Life begins at 66.