‘Sending Flowers’ by Hannah Stephenson

On this Friday of Valentines weekend, a poem that celebrates the work of the florist, in a creative presentment of the vendor/customer relationship. The Friday Poem this week is ‘Sending Flowers’ by Hannah Stephenson.

Sending Flowers

The florist reads faces, reaches into the mouths of customers.
Turns curled tongues into rose petals,

teeth clinking against one another into baby’s breath.
She selects a cut bloom, a bit of leaf,

lays stem alongside of stem, as if building a wrist
from the inside. She binds them

when the message is right, and sighs at the pleasure
of her profession. Her trade:

to wrangle intensity, to gather blooms and say, here,
these do not grow together

but in this new arrangement is language. The florist
hands you a bouquet

yanked from your head, the things you could not say
with your ordinary voice.

Hannah Stephenson

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