The Responsibility of Flowers

The Responsibility of Flowers

“To be a Flower, is profound
Responsibility —”
–Emily Dickinson,
Bloom

Bulbs like hidden secrets wake
in yellow, purple, and pink, they celebrate
and wink, just so

the prideful robin sings
a-wing with red-breasted élan
to make Ceres smile
and nod from her abiding place–she knows
mutability is a constant, time fast or slow

circles around, blood-moon nourished,
mothers and daughters
with planted wombs or fallow,
carry on carrying on
waiting for a sprout, a sprig,
a blink of life to flow—they sow–

death reaps.


Now a brave woman curses soldiers with seeds—
never shirking their responsibility,
on your graves sunflowers will thrive and grow!

Dalton Farm sunflowers (Summer 2021)

Tomorrow is the start of poetry month. I’ve signed up for NaPoWriMo, but I will probably not post the poems I write to those prompts because I’m also participating in Paul Brookes’ April Ekphrastic Challenge again, and I will be posting those poems each day.

Today there is an early-bird prompt for NaPoWriMo to use inspiration from Emily Dickinson. I had already used one of the suggested lines recently for a Monday Morning Musings post, so I’ve taken a bit of that post and revised it to share, though still rough, for NaPoWriMo and dVerse Open Link Night.


50 thoughts on “The Responsibility of Flowers

    • Thank you. Well, most journals won’t take a poem that’s on a blog, so probably not for submission. It’s for the dVerse Open Link night and also responds to the prompt for NaPoWriMo.

  1. I particuarly appreciate your use of the flower metaphor, with the unexpected turn at the end. I wonder if anyone has put together an anthology of war poetry that features flowers.

  2. This is so lovely, Merril! I particularly liked “mothers and daughters
    with planted wombs or fallow,
    carry on carrying on
    waiting for a sprout, a sprig,
    a blink of life to flow—they sow–

    death reaps.”
    And of course the nod to Ukraine.

    So you will be writing to NaPoWriMo but not posting on your blog, right!

  3. Oh thr beauty and power of flowers us so well expressed here Merril!

    Now a brave woman curses soldiers with seeds—
    never shirking their responsibility,
    on your graves sunflowers will thrive and grow!

    Oh hell yes!

  4. Adore this, Merril! I’m just over here scrounging for a poem. I like this one. I’ll pick 3 then my fave, or do you have a fave Sunflower/Ukraine poem…prose?

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