The Garden of Dreaming Flowers


                    “The flowers stood in the sun, each dreaming its own tale: little Gerda heard many, many                                things from them, but none of them knew anything of Kay.”

                                                                              - Hans Christian Andersen, “The Snow Queen”

We were human once,

we wanted what you want.

The convolvulus dreaming of a castle wall,

her blue heart chained to the ruined stone:

he could still come home.


The tiger lily locked in a tangle of thorns

at the edge of the funeral pyre:

not even death will divide us.


The snowdrop lolling under an empty swing

on the bare maple tree:

am I the only one who remembers?


This is the best part of the story,  

when it’s too late to turn for home.


Behind you, school bells and picture books,

the little red shoes you gave to the river.


Ahead, the bend in the path,

your brother’s lucky coin cooling in your pocket.


So you find him and go home to what?

Fences and rosaries,

the lord and lady in the clock

twirling their hourly minuet?


Little girl, take root and dream.

Let the water rise through your chest.


He will never be as dear again

as he is in this garden,

his breath turning to mist on your leaves.