A journal of narrative writing.
Flower Show, Philadelphia
Accustomed to gray wilted leaves 
in our kitchen, Mom and I gawk at the bright petals.
We read on a card that stephanotis floribunda 
forms the white walls of a homegrown mansion, 
with bright purple clematis for the shutters.  
Inside a sundrop cottage, we pass an ivy chair and bed 
and a star-of-bethlehem quilt, gold on white. 

Past the displays, vendors sell seeds, 
potted plants, bouquets, flowers by the stem, 
and we buy an armful of bluebells, some pussy willows, 
and three sticks that will, we are told, grow into 
South American palm trees.  Outside, March
is as drab as the grey train that will take us home. 
We almost can't fit through its doors with these bundles.

Usually our mums and azaleas never 
survive the summer, but now our house 
blooms for over a week, and the sticks develop 
broad flat leaves.  Mom goes to the nursery 
for more plants, hoping that this flower-show magic 
might touch them too, turn our garden into more 
than a clutter of weeds and brown stems.  I just watch 
the flowers, amazed, afraid to touch the blossoms, 
afraid they might fall dry brown into my cupped hands.