small flowers

Give me small flowers, understated and simple. Put them in a little vase and leave them on a table where I’ll find them as I go about my day.

Don’t arrive with arms piled with long-stemmed tulips and chrysanthemums and present them to me on bended knee as I open the door.

No showy bouquets for me, no bridal tresses of forget-me-nots in a trailing posy – they’d only belie your intention to leave me standing cold and alone on what should have been my wedding day.

Don’t give me a dozen blowsy red roses that prove your guilt-laced love for someone younger and prettier than I will ever be.

Not curling-tipped lilies with their sweet scent that make me sneeze and think of my grandmother’s funeral – how the wreath I chose with such love and care got caught on the purple curtain in the crematorium, lingering long after her coffin had disappeared behind the veil.

Give me no gaudy gladioli that remind me of my youth, of some charming man or other who turned out not to be so charming after all.

Don’t give me the disappointment of fifty carnations that will wither and rot on the stem before you have finished uttering your latest apology.

No, give me small flowers that promise of nothing, but over-deliver with your constant love the rest of our days.

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