How She Loved Flowers

grew doubly ruffled African Violets

fertilized until plants burgeoned

with magenta and white bloom


cherished double hollyhocks waving

on their tall stems and how she tied them

up with strips of old pillowcases to the clothesline post


even as pollen heavy bees circled greedily

around her seeking swollen buds

her leaving off to meander snaking borders


in search of sweet cream daffodils

their ruffs more double than those

of proper Elizabethan ladies, cupped heads


so heavy she carried them upside down

into the tiny house with its sparkling

windows washed with vinegar and


old rags doing double-duty for wiping

away the winter’s grime before she

would hang again the ancient lace


sheers on their double rods for a bit

of privacy but thin enough to admit

that last light illuminating her fading days


the two of them house and woman

become doppelgangers in their double passage

that so mirrored both bloom and season


recalls as she falls asleep how he loved gladioli

always the double ones bending their long stalks

how they grew against the old the stone wall


its collapse so symbolic when he went away

and how the old corms warmed by the stones

sent up shoots that next year as she fingered


their double blossoms, laid them in her basket

and arranged them by his picture year after year

until with time only moss grew beside the stones.