Flower Souls
Suzanne Scarfone

There is a garden on the
corner of my block
surrounded by a white
picket fence
I walk by at dusk
carrying bread and coffee
in a paper bag
and dare myself to look

a sign hangs on the far side of the yard:
between the belly and the sky
we are all molded from one
set of eyes

dim sounds mix
warmly in the wind
here and there
flowers live with clouds
and dirt and faces
appear and fade
with the light

from the painted lilies
a small man hums his
life a birch cane and a smile
and his wife’s eyes
from a sea
beyond the sea
and there in the purple
cream of the foxglove
a worn woman sings
of babies and bread
the pink rose drips
a mother who lost her
left her in the
and the hollyhocks
pink-tinged and wild
hold a boy who almost
grew into his body
before it was gone
by the peonies noisy twins
twist and bend
paint-covered and slim
by the trillium
a woman dead of a
winter nightmare
shivers in the summer green

these flower souls
so sad
all bruised with color
and dreams
everywhere the moans
and sobs
mingle with sparrows’
calls and robins’ trills
purple blue sounds
all rinsed with rain
and everywhere
the flower souls
beautiful and found
this is the resting place
of the unhoused
sprung from the ground