"A Picture and a Poem"
Red Tulips, then Ashphodel
Was I ever truly happy, like some girl in a red tank top eating sunlight in Spring?
Hard to say. If flowers are symbols of emotions, it's still hard to say.
What belongs, what goes, and which way. Did I once feel like a tulip
bending gracefully toward its own root, its own death, the lower my head
the more beautiful? Or was I ever showy like a peony for one wild week,
sexed fully pink without blushing. What are emotions anyway? Flowers die
not knowing. And yet our feelings lead us down that one path we only ever take
deceptively edged with bloom after bloom.
- Brenda Shaughnessy