Jeannine Hall Gailey


I water my flowers. I bought a rose-gold jacket,
shining as my hopes, to cover my body,

which limps along, barely able to lift the water
for these flowers. My shoes shine rose-gold too,

little toes that barely feel the sunlight, the grass,
anymore. I painted my hair pink with a ferocity

that might surprise you. I can control some things.
I can still water these flowers, I can still color my hair

and pick out clothes, those decisions small enough
for my damaged brain to handle. I don’t have control

about the meds they pump into me via IV,
or how long I stay in the hospital. I can be stubborn,

twirl for the doctors, show them my shiny shoes.
In the yard, the garden blooms hideously bright,

as grotesque in its flagrant fertility, the way
the short lifespans of cherry trees, or lilies, or lilacs,

are forgotten, the way they strew the ground
with their obvious pink evidence of life, life, life.

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