I wish I could paint as pretty as these,
Or sing so sweet in tops of trees
As the petals and stems you picked
On our walk today.
Colors and hues imbued by those,
Lavender, Lemon, Dandelion, Rose;
Goblets set in green, and Spring
Translated your heart.
You hand me this flower,
This little thing,
As if you give me everything;
As if love isn’t hard to bring.
I know you think they’re perfectly made,
But on my dresser, tomorrow their shade
Will dim and shrink, dry and crack,
And when I lift them, they’ll crumble apart
In the palms of my hands.
Yet they’re kept – every last one,
Because I love your love, my son.
And as I watch you root and reach,
I pray for mercy as I teach
The way, the soil, the rain, the need
To grow up, down upon your knees.
And one day, my son, I pray
That others might rest in your shade,
And that Poppy’s, Iris, Sage
Will scatter and surround you.
But when I reach a ripe old age
I’ll have a treasure that won’t won’t fade.
And if they ask me, I will say,
“Lay Francis’ flowers on my grave.”