A Poem by Zeb Smith

Men don’t know much about flowers

save a few names and their colors.

My great-grandmother grew roses

in oblong black beds out back, yellow

and pink and red.  I remember

her in that floral dress and smock

bony knees in peat, pulling weeds

humming hymns. She kneeled to pray, too.


After Plath's poem, I can't plant

tulips. They smell antiseptic

at any distance. The purple

any variety, appeal

to me, and tempt me to reach out

touch the velvet petals, savor

what the bees, the rain and sun made

but none grow on my property.


I planted four red rose bushes

in cedar woodshop planter boxes.

Some mornings I hear her humming

Amazing Grace on her bare knees. 

I cut one for my wife Sunday;

it made me bleed.  She picks and keeps

blue hydrangeas on the table

that red rose on the wood mantle.


Two petals have dropped off, curled up

on the glossy white, black edges

like ash.  I could brush it all off

but I won't.  It's a reminder

even what grows with divine hands

dies, turns unsightly, blows away

in the wind.  The blue hydrangeas

like pompoms, are perfectly placed.


© 2022 Zeb Smith

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Zeb, you are a remarkably gifted poet. I enjoy each of your pieces immensely.


Posted 5 Months Ago

I find this one endearing. Flowers are not just pretty objects here but symbolic of heritage, nurturing and growth. Also it reminds me how clueless I feel when my mother talks about gardening.

Posted 5 Months Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on September 29, 2022
Last Updated on September 29, 2022


Zeb Smith
Zeb Smith


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A Poem by Zeb Smith