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Sport 31: Spring 2003

Undoing a formal bouquet

page 45

Undoing a formal bouquet

All tightly-twined it was with nettings
of pink ribbon looping through
and an arch of climbing ivy
making a maypole dance overhead

and wrapped—no child was tighter swaddled
than these blooms were pressed—
some in individual sachets of crystals
the roses and the forced tulips

crushed and surrounded by a press of
ordinary and variegated leaves.
So, ignoring the implied instructions:
Leave me, leave the floral designer's art

I undid it and, unswaddled, took out
the common leaves and discarded
the superfluous greenery, hung
the netted ribbon above a lithograph

where it resembled a tutu and let
the stems released from their sachets
swim a little in a little more space
of tap water slightly temperate.