The language of Flowers

by Karen Kelsay

I never knew you held a rosary
of lilies in your heart, or meadows filled
with songbirds in your hand, that chirped and trilled
into the night. I could not sense the sea,
or brimming emerald pools that filled your days
and buoyed you up, when morning could not find
one star. Your quiet life is intertwined
with jasmine flowers, washed in amber haze
of dusk—and I now see your fortitude
in fullest bloom. It laces up the wall,
determined petals, glorious and small.
Their silent strength has oft been misconstrued.
While evening’s muted colors touch your leaves,
I watch them wander upward to the eaves.

Karen Kelsay is a native Californian who spent most of her childhood weekends on a boat. Her husband is British, she is the mother of three children and travels to England regularly to visit extended family and enjoy the countryside. Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize and author of five chapbooks, her poems have been widely published in journals and magazines including The New Formalist, Boston Literary Magazine, and The Lyric.

Back to Issue Eight: Summer 2010