Sunday, 16 June 2019

Write-In 2019: 'Not flowers' by Jennifer Cousins

He was a big bloke to be carrying a bunch of flowers:
Incongruous somehow. 
Hard hat, hi-vis jacket, steel-capped boots:
looked like a lumberjack
but this was a city suburb, not the Rockies.

I called out: “Those are nice”.
He laughed; seemed embarrassed. 
But then I noticed they weren’t flowers at all.
He’d been trimming the chestnut trees by the park
 and had gathered a bunch of the golden-leaved twigs:
 really pretty they were - autumnal.

“They’re for me Mam”, he said shyly. 
“That’s nice”, I said.
“She’s dead”, he added.
“Oh”, I said.
“Hated me spending money on flowers – thought it was a real waste”.

He walked towards the churchyard.
In the distance I saw him bending;
stand a while;
then he returned my way.

“It’s her birthday”, he said.
“She was really pleased”.


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