We see women tossing pink and white
sprays of gladioli, snapdragons and lilies
into dumpsters behind the Dance Museum.
Guess the guests didn’t want them.
We dive in: dead-head, snip the stems,
fill the whole house with bloom.

So what if some snaps droop
and their pink mouths aren’t so perky.
We, too, have gone soft and a bit brown
around the edges. We’ve had our wedding
feasts—clutched the fated bouquets
and tossed them—some of us, more than once.

So what if the bloom is off—the rose
is still a rose. Someone said the Dalai Lama’s
flowers last longer than anyone’s.
He changes the water and trims
the stems every day. He speaks to them,
and each blossom listens.

Listen to this poem:

After Zumba by Barbara Ungar

Photo used under CC.

Poem read by Barbara Ungar and recorded by Leanne Ungar.