Playing Favorites

what was your mother’s favorite flower?
i don’t recall a stand-out flower.
about the only thing she ever grew were tulips,
a few limp pansies, and the irises
that grew on their own—you couldn’t get rid of them—
but she liked them. like she liked the wild
rose and lilac bushes in the yard.
she’d gush about mother-cole’s mums
and begonias, those prized yellow roses,
but i don’t know that she had a favorite . . .
maybe i get that from her,
beauty is beautiful and unique,
no one thing lasts, holds sway, everything changes
everyday . . . how can there be one
favorite anything? it’s a goddamn miracle
just being here. she adapted well.
whatever you chose to give her—simply that—
would have made it her favorite that day . . .
because you chose it. her favorites
changed with the slant of the sun,
the hue of the season, the beat of her
heart playing the day.

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