Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
The Bouquet

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We walk my garden together.
The rounds of aggregate form a path
that fit my step, stumble up his.

He is a baby really, on a mission,
missing his mommy.
I carry sharp shears.
He knows our child’s play
makes a bouquet for her, the missing one.

Flowers are yellow, he says,
or maybe yellows are flowers
in his preverbalness.

He knows what he wants:
Two jaded roses, petals curled,
smelling of spots.
(I smile. Some day down a different road
may he find a perfect rose.)
One bird-plucked yellow sunflower,
one stinky rusty-green centered
shasta daisy, missing petals.
A crocosmia, yes, yellow, we agree.
One tiny johnny jump-up
he might have missed,
but didnʼt. A faded rush.
Then enough is enough.

I write a note.
He understands every word.
He knows what we ask him to know--
she will come back
loving what he picked.
Smell the baby, then the flowers.

Tricia Knoll’s poems have appeared in dozens of literary anthologies and journals. She is a Portland, Oregon poet with a new chapbook, Urban Wild, from Finishing Line Press. She has been a proud mother of Gillian Galford, an ecosystem scientist studying climate change, for 32 years, and remembers the days when Gillian left for college. Please visit Tricia’s website at for more information.

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