by Anne Le Dressay
He picked flowering weeds, wild
flowers, as we were walking,
and gave them to me: wild sweetpeas,
goldenrod. They grace the kitchen table
now. For them, I have displaced
the garden flowers which are always
there for the picking.
For the moment, these weeds triumph,
and will die too in their time,
which is not yet.
I carried them home in my hand,
rode the crowded transit bus
with the bad-tempered driver
who thought I was lingering
with a lover. No. These flowers,
picked so casually on a walk, were
given me by a man who will not
be a lover, though I had hoped.
So I have carried carefully home
the flowers casually given, and
when they die, or when I leave
for the other home where I have to
live, these flowers, these wild-growing
weeds transferred to a tame
kitchen, these weeds in their end
will mark an end. Not yet.
This poem originally appeared in Canadian Literature #150 (Autumn 1996), Urquhart and Munro. (pg. 9)