He bargained hard for her blossoms,
then neglected to water or commit to the soil
in the season of nurture that he, self important, busy,
Finally he notices
ex-flowers in a corner, brittle, dark as smoke,
full heads that nodded, entreated him to plant, promised to return
contracted in rigor mortis.
He thinks of her at work,
touching stems, sating thirst, fingers plump, tender,
He dumps crumpled husks in the trash,
balls the note he found when she left.
What he won’t forget was
the way she tempered her voice to urge
that he angle blinds, balance shadow with sun,
the way budded leaves,
accustomed to protection,
and earnest blooms
Claire Massey has published poetry and prose in literary journals and mainstream magazines. By invitation, she read a story she authored on Tennessee public radio. Her work has won awards in national and state literary competitions. In 2019, she served on the editorial board for Emerald Coast Review and was appointed Poet Laureate for the Pensacola branch of National Pen Women.