Marilyn Flower – Three Poems



You leaned against me
as we walked. Wind
whistled through swamp grass,
ocean tasted shore.
I hummed a tune
against your temple as
tortoises lumbered by.

Boiling sheets peeled off the sky,
gas-yellow, silver, linings
loosed from heaven’s ceiling—
you and I, blind and crawling,
slow as stopped oil.

Butterflies hatch from blistered ground,
ancient waters call us to enter
new heaven, new earth.


Gulf Motel

The lawn of this motel
is a bed of broken

motorcycles, splayed
in Kama Sutra

angst across the green.
Inside it’s country

music, l’eau de frying oil
ancienne and a manager

plucking rollers from her hair.
I shut my eyes against

this anti-romance.
Why did we come here?

Ah, because it’s blue here—
sea oats in their lazy

sway, sandpipers
stuttering into the foam;

they draw back, teasing
the warm Gulf waters.

An egret stretches her lovely neck,
sails white into the blue.
You and I dive under the tide,
surface in each other’s arms.

Forever, we vow, forever.
Eager waters lap us,
and all around us is blue.


Mother and Son

A mother is gathering pens
to grade her students’ essays
when dread invades her.
Nowhere in the space
that lies between them
can she find her son.
She telephones across the country;
his voicemail says he is not there.
Runes read on New Year’s Eve
specified this passage: “He needs
space to fall and get up by himself.”

Her cat settles against her,
comforting, yet pain
spreads to her shoulders
and the small bones of her neck.
She dreams of a field,
vast with ancient growth–
thistles grown to towers,
gray rotted trees.
Within her dream she wakes.
Her son is in the next room,
arguing with his father,
perhaps safe.


Author’s Statement on Beauty

Beauty is a manifestation of soul, all our souls, which are one, and which is the reason that every human is stirred by beauty.


Marilyn Flower has published in various  literary journals and anthologies like Southern California Anthology, North of Wakulla: An Anhinga Anthology, Rohwedder, Inky Blue, the Dickinson Review, Sow’s Ear, Modern Haiku and others. In her somewhat other persona and under another name, she teaches undergraduate composition and Emeritus creative writing.