Fall 1993 • Vol. XV No. 4 Poetry |

After Three Days

        when she got back the peonies in the crystal bowl had shed a welter dry as ash from hideous bare heads, their slack stems in a liquid faintly foul. She carried trash to older trash. When, just at the brink of sleaze, the loosened petal on a tough bullet-headed bud caught her in comic guilt, spotting a flower's ease of secret motion just enough to land the wizened bloom in water. Tutored by circumstance, and wary of parable and homily, she mocked herself, an instant cross of Florence Nightingale and Sairy Gamp, nurse and midwife, to try what was appropriate to loss. Her first sun showed the bullet head split to blowsy beauty, full and crowded white, a soundless act that puffed its fragrance at her bed. Steadfastly, she refused to cull a moral, having birthed a fact.

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Softly

By Josephine Jacobsen

        when she got back the peonies in the crystal bowl had shed a welter dry as ash from hideous bare heads, their slack stems in a liquid faintly foul. She […]

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