A Dozen Poppies
By Marilyn Braendeholm
Mum loved plastic flowers,
silk ones, too. She once made
a dozen oriental poppies from
red and orange crepe paper,
all twisty-turnie around black
pistils and stamen centres
the shade of a menacing thought.
Then she sprayed them with cologne.
Evening in Paris at first, later
Avon Skin So Soft because she
was saving toward Christmas gifts
from Avon. Those were the days
before loyalty cards, and no one
collected points. But Avon saw
the future, and offered vouchers
for money off your next purchase.
Mum sprayed Avon everywhere,
even on last summer’s dried
hydrangeas, and she had
the softest crepe paper poppies
a florist could ever hope to touch.
Marilyn ‘Misky’ Braendeholm lives in the UK surrounded by flowers, grapevines, bubbling pots of sourdough starter, bottles of fermenting apple vinegar, Molly, her Springer Spaniel, and a small camera that she keeps in her pocket. She never buys clothing without pockets. Her work has found homes with Poetry Quarterly, Curio Poetry, Mouse Tales Press, Four & Twenty, Sprout Magazine, Camel Saloon, Jellyfish Whispers, inclusion in three international print anthologies, Pyrokinection, B-Gina Review, and few more. She also co-edited the 2014-15 Winter Issue of The Red Wolf Journal.