How about those plastic roses on your table
that never bloom? Wide-open faces
never can lose their youth,
Can never die in love, never close, leave
Turn up their noses or spit replies
Love, forgive, tell little white lies.
Never been alive,
Those prefabricated unnatural
blooms, but you still keep them
in your dining room. You point out
the cuckoo clock, the G.E. Microwave,
Your 2.4 Gigahertz phone,
but the unnatural flora you leave alone.
So what are they for, a snapshot?
Plastic flowers like death masks
each flower’s dead beauty imprisoned?
Does it help you appreciate
that one red rose now looks velvet
in your green back yard?
The tragedy
of half-dozen folded, bound in plastic-
six enclosed towers near where you dine.

Their moment is at hand, only days
in which to bloom;
Trapped in tight buds
I sense their anxious trembling
Stagnating in their eternal youth.
Those six petrified children.
Never will they dance
In summer’s windy fields
always to feel unending sun
Mouths parted, they never curse,
Never open their eyes
To count the long days.
In a deliciously curved vase
you mummify nature, morbidly;
bring order to what is dead
in your plastic scene of life.

Donald Standeford

6 thoughts on “Those Plastic Flowers on Your Table

  1. I need to read this poem all over again, many times. I so love lines like these because of their beauty and strength.

    “Plastic flowers like death masks
    each flower’s dead beauty imprisoned?”

    Liked by 1 person

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