Crepe Roses

by Brenda Kay Ledford

Junk cars smash
the marigolds. She planted,
stroked the petals, called
the flowers her children.

A motorcycle spits
oil on her kitchen floor.
She mopped with Clorox,
baked dried apple stack cakes.

With bowed back, she poured
sweet tea, eyes blue as the sky.
Can I get you anything else?
An autumn breeze wafted

through snow-white curtains
she made on her sewing machine.
The basket’s filled with quilt scraps
cut from dresses I outgrew.

Rag weeds choke the garden,
cornstalks droop to the ground,
tomatoes rot on vines,
the creek reeks with trash.

She made roses from crepe paper,
dipped them into wax, decorated
the graves. A goldfinch strips
petals to the sepal.

Brenda Kay Ledford is a resident of Hayesville, NC. She belongs to NC Writers’ Network and North Carolina Poetry Society. Her work has appeared in Asheville Poetry Review, Main Street Rag, Appalchian Heritage, and other journals. She’s published three poetry chapbooks and received the Paul Green Award for each collection. Her website is

Back to Issue Six: Winter 2010