Buy Me Flowers
Chelsea Bayouth

Please give me ranunculus. 
The bowls of their nodding heads
packed tight with cold tissue. 
And all the daisies wild, 
their dizzy faces bouncing
in brown paper under an arm. 
Roses, of course will do, 
but I prefer the scraggy beauties. 
Something hearty and plucked
from a hillside, a place
that wears the seasons
as an overcoat of husks, 
underpinning of furl, 
chemise of whisper willow. 
Where I will be called
by my husband for dinner. 
And tumbling in, 
all dusk and burrs, 
I am bursting with Zinnias
for our table, which look smart
propped by a jug of wine, 
thick white candles
and a humble Sunday feast. 
I don’t subscribe to the notion, 
that flowers are a terrible gift
because they die. 
So will you. 
And is your heart, 
the spirit and meat of it, 
chief of dreams, 
commander pump,
a terrible gift
for someone loved?

Author's note:  This poem was written after a trip to a farm outside town where my husband and I were allowed to roam the grounds and pick flowers and pumpkins for the coming holidays. I was overcome by appreciation and awe for the zinnias we had picked, which were stunning and lush. Lately I have heard many people refer to their dislike of flowers as a gift because "they just die," and "why would I want something that I have to watch die?". Which got me thinking, everything is dying, but everything is also swelling with life. We exist in a timeline of varying cycles, blossom and decay. Seasons, menstruation, birth. It is a law of our nature that I find profoundly spiritual. For me this poem is a celebration of life in the face of impermanence. What else are we going to do here but enjoy the beauty the world has to offer and love each other in the process?

chelsea bayouth.jpg

Chelsea Bayouth is a writer and and Emmy Award Winning visual artist from Los Angeles California. Her poetry and short stories have been published in The Rattling Wall/PEN Center USA, Heavy Feather Review, Stirring Lit, and many others. More of her work can be found on her website