I say to you, “Please don’t jostle
Don’t bump me, today.
I may get a nosebleed, heart
might tumble from my chest,
shatter on the floor.

Either way —
you’ll get blood
on your shoes.

“Please note the bright, red
sticker on my chest:
Fragile – handle with care!
(or better yet – don’t handle at all)

Unless you don’t mind
getting your hands dirty.”
You say to me,

“Tell me about
the not so good parts.”
and it happens:

the slow trickle,
the single drop
followed by a splash
and another… another.

You smile, gather an armful
blood-red poppies,
from your patient feet.
“Yes, they are lovely.

You are lovely,
your pain, just one shade
from a palette of reds.”

I stand, mouth open,
tears of grief and wonder
diluting the crimson
petals in your hands.

Maybe you are right.
Maybe they are — maybe
you are lovely.

You don’t mind stains
on your shoes or
your fingers, after all.


Photo Credit: http://www.thoschi.net/poppy