They contrive to twist backwards
on stems that lost all flex, try to face
the wall instead made to suffer indignity—
stand unchosen, in shame, they huddle
together in their crime. A bright red
70%-off sign hangs around their necks.
Some bow, tucking their chins. Scarred
petals draw in on themselves, like an arthritic
gnarl. Some crust under in a curl, browning
over whatever color they must once have flaunted.
I wipe the shelf free of fallen bits, turn them
face-front. "You are all beautiful," I whisper.
* Original version appeared in Boston Literary Magazine, October 2014
Laura Lovic-Lindsay left Penn State University with a literature degree in hand in 1993, having written no more than a few poems at that point. She has won poetry and fiction contests (PennWriters Poetry Contest, writerstype.com, writersweekly.com, Writing Success writers' conferences), and had pieces accepted for publication (Fireside Fiction, Fine Linen Magazine, Boston Literary Magazine).
Laura lives and writes in an old farmhouse in a small Western Pennsylvania town, but her heart roams realms both real and imaginary.