Journal » Trout 11 » A Bouquet By Christian Tortu [Elizabeth Smither]
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A bouquet by Christian Tortu

from 7 Little Parisian Poems

Elizabeth Smither

I meant to buy chrysanthemums
for a lady whose cat eats flowers
I explain this to the fleuriste
Pour une Madame qui a un chat qui mange

How well prepared I am so why
since there are no chrysanthemums
and I think perhaps un artiste en fleurs
prefers not to work with those death flowers

do I come out clutching
a bouquet the size of a toddler
wrapped in a great collar of brown paper
and tied at the bottom with tissue and

silver ribbon that comprises
three hydrangeas the size of dinner plates
stalks of dark burgundy cercis and
hypericum? And why, knowing

I've spent about a week's food money
do I smile all the way up rue Casimir-Delavigne
as if I'm awarding myself this bouquet first
simply for having the nerve to carry it

and look into the eyes of the people I pass
to step between cars and lightly over
a golden dog turd, a bouquet as long as
my torso, blue hydrangeas as big as my face.


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© Copyright 2003 Elizabeth Smither & Trout.