"Orchids"  Copyright 2001 Haze McElhenny

No Peony, She

     Peonies, among the longest-lived flowering
     plants, become more beautiful each year.

The peony is her same age;
she suspects its girlish blush
of bloom may mock the lotions
bought to soothe
a face too often kissed
by sun and creams that claim
to banish lines as easily as tides
smooth wrinkled sand.

For a moment, she considers
life without the potions--their potency,
another little lie--but hope
is an old, old friend. Instead,
she pins a blossom in her hair.

Glenda Cooper
Copyright 2001

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