The Flower Garland

By Lauren K. Carlson
I watch my niece decapitate daisies in her backyard, 
last autumn’s overgrown herbs and their silver sponge-rot
carpeting what once was lawn. I don’t think my brother’s 
ex-wife knew annual from perennial, how fast mint sends its roots 
out into neighboring earth, to bloom again and again. 
My mother keeps calling it her son’s fresh start,
but the words must wound my niece—
as though separation could till her mother into
rich soil. As though it were no violence to harrow ground
and lay down something sweet and fresh. As if longing, 
when in bloom, could be plucked, strung and worn as adornment.

About the author

Lauren K. Carlson lives in Northern lower Michigan near the Lake Michigan shore. She is the author of the chapbook "Animals I Have Killed" and holds an MFA in poetry from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers.

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