Monday, 8 November 2021


Tiger Lily

by Karen Walker


In April, Mother Nature waits for me at the kitchen table. I'm late, though it's early in the year.

She picks at the roses in the plastic tablecloth and wishes I was like them: a daughter warm and dry at home. A pink August debutante destined for a bouquet wrapped with silk ribbon.

Not me, Mother. I wear a leather jacket in the spring snow.

Says she, sadly: You're growing too fast, Lily. 

True. Sprout long, luscious stems and two perky buds, and the bees take notice. They hum honeyed words that I'd become their queen if I'd just open up.

How green of me to have believed them.

I'm now fifty-six. 

Still with the hungry beetle that came along after the bees. He's chewed black holes in me over the years, left my leaves ragged. But if I bloom an orange flower every day, he'll crawl down my throat and declare, yeah, I'm still a tiger lily. 

In June, Mother Nature waits until I sleep. She tiptoes from the kitchen table to my bed. Scatters grass seed all around so it'll grow lush in the hot flashes of midsummer, in the downpours of middle-age, and hide the bug's trail to someone fresher. Rosier.

I'd leave him, but I'm rooted here.

* * * * *

Karen Walker writes flash fiction and prose poetry in Ontario, Canada. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Reflex Fiction, Sunspot LitUnstamaticThe Disappointed HousewifeRetreat West, Bandit FictionFive Minute LitSundial MagazinePotato Soup JournalBright Flash, and others. 

No comments:

Post a Comment