A woman standing in front of a rose bush while she straightens the tie on her dress

Fleur

I do not think
it terribly good
to approach a woman
or a girl
without flowers.
We ought to give them
as peace treaties.
It is terribly hard
to mistrust
a sunflower,
a tulip.
All too easy, I’d say
mistrusting
a smile,
a kind word:
rolling off your tongue,
but from the abundance
of the earth,
Soil speaks.

When I was but 21,
we walked to Musée de l’Orangerie.
In the premier arrondissement,
Each woman, one sunflower.
Each woman, a smile.
They knew, quite suddenly,
all that was good and true
was in their hands.
And all that was good,
Could grow in them.

Image via Chris and Sarah Rhoads of We Are the Rhoads, Darling Issue No. 16

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