The Voice Issue 32: October 2017 - Page 29

I'm sorry, chrysanthemum


You should’ve been dead when I found you.

I struggled to see as

snowflakes clung to my lashes,

obstructing my view,

but still, I saw you screaming

for help in technicolor,

against the black and white of

the January world.

Between drifts of snow

you reached up with shriveled, green arms.

to grasp a hand,

any hand.

I could tell you were on your last leg.

Your golden petals lay on the snow


Your body wilted slightly to the left.

A chrysanthemum in the dead of winter,

sunshine in the dead of night.

I reached out to take hold of your stem,

stiff, frozen, and feeble.

Then I pulled.

I felt your roots break one by one

beneath the earth,

snapping like licorice ropes.

I saw your face go pale and

when I finally realized

what I had done

it was too late.

I had killed the last living thing in


But then again,

You should have been dead when I found you.

- semacdonald, Sheldon, VT