A Bunch of Flowers

A Bunch of Flowers

A Poem by ShameemAkhtar

I was born
By a beautiful day
Mom held me in her hands
People came to congratulate her
Sharing her joy
Giving her a bunch of flowers

She thanked them
And smiled
Her face radiant
She was happy
As she clutched to her heart
This bunch of flowers

They placed me in the craddle
Changed my clothes
Powdered me
Perfumed my sheet
And decorated my craddle
With petals from flowers

I rolled around
Cried a bit
But then I stopped
And smiled
As I played with the petals
From this bunch of flowers

A few days later
Dad came to take us home
His face radiant
A car stood in the street
Decorated with balloons
And bouquets of flowers

Grandma waited at the door
Grandpa stood by her
Seeing us they smiled
And kissed mom
They caressed my cheeks and said
Oh lovely little flower

I was a little baby girl
They placed me in the craddle
Innocent I gazed up
At something beautiful
Hanging on the wall
It was a bunch of flowers

It fascinated me
Beautiful pulpy red
Hanging like a garland
Though it was artificial
Still it amazed me
This bunch of flowers

With love I grew up
A lovely little girl
In the garden
Mom grew a lot of trees
Amongst them, lovely roses
And another bunch of flowers

It brought me bliss
As lovely red they bloomed
I gazed at them and dreamed
Of holding them in my hands
I hasted to pluck
Them bunch of flowers

In a little more than haste
I forgot, thorny it pricks
It scratched my hands
I cried as my fingers bled
But still I loved them
This bunch of flowers

Dad picked me up
Kissed me and dried my tears
I hugged him and smiled
As he cut off the thorns
And gave me the roses
Them bunch of flowers

A year later
It was time to go to school
I didn't want to
I wanted to cry
But that class consoled me
Decorated with flowers

We started our lessons
The teacher was good
The friends were sweet
But most important of all
Amongst the drawings we were tought to do
Was a bunch of flowers

Further still we grew
More friends we made
We started to write letters
And memories for our friends
Prefering those papers once more
With the smell and picture of flowers

In the morning I'd wake
Kiss mom and dad
Have my cup of coffee and breakfast
Prepare to go to school
And drop by the garden
To caress an smell those flowers

The morning would pass by
Like any other day
School would soon end
And together with friends
We'd go home passing by the park
Walking amongst the lane of flowers

Soon I'd drop home
And say hi to everyone
But before that
I'd water my plants
And talk to those mute friends of mine
Them bunch of flowers

I'd play for some time
And then go to do my homework
Mom and dad'd make me revise
And soon it'd be time to go to bed
But before that in my vase
I'd put a new bunch of flowers

Days'd pass by
It'd pass the same way
Little by little I'd grow
Always in happiness
And life'd always be punctuated
By a bunch of flowers

Then one pretty day
I realised I had grown up
When I received a love letter
From a boy I didn't know
He asked me to date him
His letter was accompanied by a flower

I didn't love him
And ignored the letter
But then another day
He appeared before me
And asked me to marry him
Presenting me a bunch of flowers

I didn't love him
But I was just too sweet
I couldn't say no
Or refuse his advances
For each time he'd bring me
A new bunch of flowers

I finally had to accept
And say yes
For I respected his love
And didn't want to offend him
Or his love
Certainly not his bunch of flowers

He took me by the hands
And pulled me into a garden
Telling me how much he loved me
How much I was beautiful
Like this garden, and growing in it
Them patches of flowers

I was a bit annoyed
As he tried to kiss me on my lips
I tried to resist in vain
For we weren't married yet
But he placed in my hair
A rose, a beautiful flower

I felt bad and cried a bit
A tear streaked down my face
But he coaxed me and I believed him
When he gently told me
To look at that which he gave me
Them bouquets of flowers

I looked at him
And smiled a bit
I was impressed by his love
He stroke my hair
And I caressed the rose he gave me
That beautiful flower

Two days later
He came home
And asked dad for my hand
He brought along with him
A diamond ring
And a bouquet of flowers

When he left
Dad asked my opinion
I picked up the diamond ring
And placed it away
Dad got the answer
When I picked up his flowers

Two weeks later
And it was our marriage
He couldn't wait
And was in too much haste
Perhaps he had got wearied
Of everyday buying flowers

Everyone was happy
Laughing and joking around
It was a grandiose wedding
With lots of light
And decorated carefully
With lots of flowers

Mom took me away
To get me ready
I took my bath
And dressed in my white robe
Mom spread perfumes over me
With the scent of flowers

One hour later
In the ceremony hall
We made each other wear
The garland we held
Garlands so sweetly stitched
With white silvery flowers

It was soon time to go
Dad and mom embraced me
But brother was too occupied
With his girlfriend and forgot my wedding
In an attempt to clutch my heart in pain
My fingers enclosed the garland of flowers

As we moved down the hall
Tears ran down faces
The atmosphere was dense
And I held my tears
In guise of blessings onto us
They threw petals from scented flowers

May your life
Be like a bed of roses
Was its meaning
From well-wishers
This shower of petals
Picked from beautiful flowers

But perhaps they forgot
That roses have thorns
And the thorns prick more
And we suffer more
Than the happiness
Brought by them bunch of flowers

Hand in hand
Down the lane we walked
Me holding my tears
Down the street
Awaited a pompous car
Decorates with balloons and flowers

Once we reached his home
T'was the same show again
His families and friends
Were waiting for us
As soon as we arrived
They bathed us in a sea of flowers

But amongst them all
His sister gave me some comfort
She was a woman afterall
And understood my feelings
She came over and kissed me
Welcoming me with another garland of flowers

It was our marriage day
And he was in too much haste
He pulled me in the room
As everyone stared at us
The room was decorated
With so much flowers

I looked around
And advanced towards the bed
It was in the centre
Arranged with great skill
I approached it and the sheet
Was adorned with such beautiful flowers

I turned around to say something
But he had already undressed
He put his fingers on my mouth
Before I could say anything
Led me to the bed
And took off the garland of flowers

He undid my hair and undressed me
I'd have preferred a bit slower
A bit more cautious
That was my last day as a virgin
It happened
And that's how I got deflowered

I don't know if it was bliss
Or a little pain
But I felt uneasy
My body was sore
Like crushed in a hand
I felt like the poor flower

I wasn't so sure
And needed to be reassured
I turned towards him
But he had already dozed off
I felt lost as I brushed off
From my body a petal of a flower

I went to take a bath
And wasn't sure of my feelings
A tear tickled down my face
I felt disillusioned
As though a dehydrated petal
Shed off a beautiful flower

The whole of the next fortnight
Was in fact honeymoon
We passed it in a hotel
In the pardise of Switzerland
In the warm sea
And by the patches of flowers

Within those two weeks
Was my birthday
It reassured me
We had great fun
We cut a cake
And he offered me a flower

It felt so good
And was so reassuring
It was the same
Only a few persons had changed
The cake was still the same
As was the flowers

We came home
And he really surprised me
When he showed the bedsheet
To all his families and friends
The one with the blood on it
Onto which had stuck some flowers

I felt ashamed
Humiliated
In my heart I cried
I felt cheated
Robbed from its nectar
Like a poor flower

He went to work
I stayed at home
Cause he didn't let me work
I tried to console myself
Tending my roses
Watering my flowers

At night he came
Tired from work
He pulled me into the bed
I wanted to talk to him
But he was too occupied
I felt as helpless as a flower being cut

He stripped me of my clothes
I felt like a mere sex object
But I letmyself do
Cause I was the wife and loved him
Each night this happened
I never got to talk to him, being deflowered

One dreadful night
I was having my period
But he was too occupied to listen
His sperm mingled with my tears
And trickled onto that which he had brought me
A bunch of flowers

I cried a lot that night
I felt like I was raped
But lawfully he was my husband
And he had that right
He loved me afterall
Cause each nighht he brought me flowers

Then one day
I told him I was pregnant
I thought he'd be happy
But he had better occupations
Than caring for a child
In anger he knocked over the vbase of flowers

I was hurt
For he told me to abort
I was so lost
I didn't know what to do
I felt like that awaiting to be cut
In bloom, a pulpy red flower

I never knew
When all my happiness
Had turned into pain
I remembered then
How would wither
All my flowers

And at that thought
A far gripped me
I felt insecure
What if my husband leaves me
Afterall, I always replaced
All withered flowers

But I tried to console myself
For I was a human afterall
Like all other people
Not that which we pluck one day
And discard a few days later
A vulgar flower

He left home in anger
Swearing at me
Vowing never to come back
I was hurt a lot
Tears rolled down my eyes
As I picked up them flowers

I was very depressed
And didn't know what to do
I couldn't tell mom or dad
I just had to wait
That he comes back someday
Like a wild rose suddenly bloomed

I never lost hope
Cause I had no other options
And then one day oh joy
He accepted the baby
And came back home
Giving me a huge bunch of flowers

Life was bliss then
Better than I had imagined
The baby was born
A little boy
And he too was welcomed
In a sea of flowers

Oh life was so sweet again
He came home early
And took care of the child
I got relieved a bit
And got to talk to him more often
Life was like a bed of roses

After so many years
We went out together
For a little picnic by the river
It was just so sweet
Son would play football
Trodding over patches of flowers

I remembered then
Happier days with mom and dad
Them outings by this same river
Except that before it was livelier
And I went looking for lilis
Instead of trampling on the flowers

But it was happiness anyway
I rested against his arm
And watched son play
Though he was not listening
I counted to him my childhood
Passed by the side of these same flowers

Alas my happiness
Wasn't to last long
He lapsed back again
With the stress at work
He began to take alcohol
And even forgot to bring me flowers

Then one dreadful day
We had our first argument
He hurt me a lot with his words
Son clutched my legs in fear
But he was sorry
And gave me a flower the next day

But it was to grow worse
One day he came home
He was completely drunk
He beat me real badly
He broke on my back
A chair and the vase of flowers

I was badly hurt
And was admitted to the hospital
But what could dad and mom do
They were too old now
Anyway he came to see me and was sorry
Cause he brought me a bunch of flowers

Brother was too occupied
I wonder if he even remembered me
He had no wife or children
But passed his nights at the brothel
Showering onto prostitutes
Money and scented flowers

When my husband came
I wanted to tell him to go away
I wanted to take a break
And stay away for some time
Sign the divorce papers
And throw his flowers in his face

But once more I was too sweet
Where'd I go
What would happen to my son
How would I live
Finally I had no other option
But to accept his flowers

I was oh so wrong
One night he brought his friends home
And till late theydrank till the last drop
And together they raped me
My drunken husband laughed
I felt like the petals arrached from a flower

There was no limit to my pain
But my son held me in that home
So that a week later
When he brought another woman home
I felt nothing, a stone at heart
I was like a flower devoid of smell

I remained silent
And didn't say anything
I bore all his atrocities
And walked as per his orders
I had lost hope and feared him
And accepted all his apologies and flowers

What could his parents say
I doubt they would be proud of him
They themselves had no power
To tell him anything, forget defend me
For he had placed them in a pension
And sent them flowers everyweek

What could this world
Ever say to such a man
He loved his parents so much
That he sent them away from home
Occasionally sending them some food
Along with some flowers

A few days later
And it was much worse
Devil had got on his head
He banged me against the wall
And choked me a bit
But the next day he apologised with a rose

A week later
I wasn't my birthday
Nor our marriage anniversary
Or any other special day
But once more
He brought me some flowers

This bouquet was the best of them all
For it was the day of my funeral
He had finally beat me up to death
But I know he is sorry once more
For there he was, smartly dressed
Holding a ring of flowers

Would you call that murder
No one would ever believe that
They had such a high opinion of him
For he loved me so much
He never spared an occasion
To present me some flowers

Only then did I come to realise
How they were all a hypocrite
From my birth till my death
They all gave me flowers
But they are in fact hiding their hypocrisy
Behind the beauty of them flowers

They prepared this day
To get rid of my body
They gave me my bath
And wrapped me in my final cloth
But even then they did not forget
To decorate my death-bed with flowers

I always got flowers for sure
But that's not what made my joys
Nor did that explain my pains
In fact as a pretext
And a cover for their lies
They used them flowers

Look at them
Thought I in my heart
As I watched over them
Even on this day
When they should have prayed for me
They are only worried about giving me flowers

My heart cries
As they put me in my grave
And then cover me up with soil
If only I had picked up some courage
Thought I as they planted over my tomb
Some more flowers again

But for once
They did to me something good
For it lessened the pains
I ought to feel in the grave
I get some relief from the prayers
Constant, of those lively flowers

And for once
I awaited for the gardener to come
For as the leaves dry up
I feel more pain
Watering them relieves me more
Than they give vitality to the flowers

Very soon
They all forgot me
Once in a year
A friend would drop by
Giving me a visit
Bringing me a bunch of flowers

I lost all contact with the material world
And down here I wonder
What are we women made for
To come as a toy on this earth
Get kicked around
And coaxed with a bunch of flowers

Down there I realise
Roses have a lot of beauty
But they have thorns too
Thoses thorns do not lessen its beauty
But rather serves as a protection
For those lovely flowers

It's too late now that I realise
Almighty God's Greatness
He has given us
The power to protect ourselves
All the while keeping our image
As a beautiful flower

It's too late
I will not get a second chance
To go on earth and lead life correctly
For God had given us proper Guidance
Lessons which we neglected
Enclosed in those flowers

I want to warn others
But though I hear them
They can't hear me
I can't tell them what I want
I feel like that which can hear but not reply
A mute bunch of flowers

Many years later
A gentle man passes by
I feel a strange pull in my heart
I recognise him, he's my son
He has come to see me
He holds a flower in his hand

But oh, how I was disillusioned
There was a girl by his side
No, don't do that, I cried
But the same blood ran in his veins
Afterall he had grown up with his father
And he handed to her the flower

Desperate, I cried a lot
But tears did not flow
Women are human beings too
They too have feelings and needs
Why don't men understand that
And reduce their life to mere flowers

Within this lifetime of mine
I never got to know
When had changed into fear
Giving me nightmares
This love I had for roses
And all other flowers

It's true
Flowers to me
Were no longer the bliss
That they once used to be
Often my nightmares
Would include patches of flowers

But somewhere there was hope
Still living in my heart
For I trusted God
And his judgement
Not all'll err like I did
Giving excess importance to flowers

I looked at my son
And my heart and soul felt it
He was not like his dad
He had learnt to respect
The opposite gender
His flower was a sign of love, not lust

They would form a happy couple
Their marital life would be a success
And that was a mother's feeling
It never made any mistake
They would complement each other
Like the bee and the rose

Lying down there
All alone and forgotten
I felt relaxed and relieved
Cause my sacrifice I knew
Will not have been vain
My flower had to bloom someday

And somewhere inside
I felt a joy sprout
A joy so different from the rest
My own son would lead the fight
AND I WAS GRATEFUL TO GOD
THE WAR FOR JUSTICE WAS UNDER WAY!

© 2011 ShameemAkhtar



Author's Note

ShameemAkhtar
This one somehow is neither a poem nor a short story.

It it something I wrong way back (when I was around 20 I think).

I have posted it to share the message within.

It is ridiculously long, and I apologize in advance. I certainly would not begrudge anyone not reading through it.

Your indulgence is highly appreciated in your eventual reviews of this piece... :)

Thanks

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Reviews

I am in tears....I have no words to say how heart wrenching this is.

Posted 5 Months Ago


i truly appreciate the ending of your poem not because its long but because it carries a great message :)

Posted 4 Years Ago


I only hope more men read this and if they are the kind of man that tries to woo a woman with flowers only to treat her like a shriveld rose then I would hope that this would change their heart. Youve done a fantastic job with this piece but I would suggest shortening it a tad. Because like LL under me I was about to hit the back button.

Posted 5 Years Ago


Dear ShameemAkhtar,

At first, I must admit, when I saw the length of this poem, I was headed to the exit button. However, I kept reading and reading and it was just good with a powerful meaning. I adored the opposite of anapohorical use (I forgot the literary term used to describe this). This kind of thing in reflection usually starts from the self, how we as women see ourselves. We have many paths to take in life and each choice has a reaction on this path. Thought provoking and entertaining. Glad I read it.

I really thank you for sharing this with me.

Sincerely Livana Lowell (LL)

God bless

Posted 5 Years Ago


A bit too long for me...sorry. Lost my interest before half way down.

Posted 5 Years Ago


That was extremely long @_@ Though I enjoyed it a bit :P It was beautifully written :)

Posted 6 Years Ago


A story that just ripped me to the core. A write with truth.
Thank you for this one.


Posted 6 Years Ago


What a sad story but I loved it.

Posted 6 Years Ago


nice and very well expressed!

Posted 6 Years Ago


The length in this, I think, is what makes this poem or story into what it is. You cannot mash so much story into a smaller poem, it would ruin the effect and the meaning of the message within.

Flowers have always been signs of love and apologies, depending on who gives and receives them. It is rather ironic sometimes to see how much a flower's meaning can change with regards to the purpose behind the offering of a bouquet or just a single plant.

I actually loved this. There is quite a lot to this poem, not just the mere words but everything hidden underneath them as well, and it was good to see that in the end she realised that her own seed, aka her son, has grown into a beautiful flower despite everything he's had to suffer through.

Posted 6 Years Ago



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Added on September 2, 2011
Last Updated on September 2, 2011

Author

ShameemAkhtar
ShameemAkhtar

Port Louis, Mauritius



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