Father’s Flower Girls
by Jeannie E. Roberts
“Bless you, my darling, and remember you are always in the heart ―
oh tucked so close there is no chance of escape ― of your sister.”
~Katherine Mansfield (1888 – 1923)
Sisters stood steadfast,
beside one another, fused
in a foreground of phlox.
Blossoms imprinted, found
torn and faded, a memory
tucked close to her heart.
Flower girls, he called them,
from a photo once taken.
Now sisters stand distant,
apart. Like the wheel
of seasons, summer releases
its fullness to fall, bows
to the call, departs on its passage,
surrenders, detaches, decays
but recalls―all that’s lost, is found.
This seasonal motion, has essence,
devotion, no escape, exit or door―
flower girls, he called them,
from a photo once taken―
sisters together, blooming forever-
PHOTO: The author (right) and her sister, Mary, near Ellsworth, Wisconsin, circa 1967 or 1968 (image credit: Donald E. Roberts).
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This photo was lost for many years, and after finding it I felt more grounded, at peace really. I recall the day my dad took this picture of my sister and me. I was like most kids, not thrilled to be photographed, but our dad insisted on it. He compared us to the phlox that were blooming near our driveway, naming us his “Flower Girls.” I also remember that my grandmother (Gram) displayed this photo on a table next to her favorite reading chair.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeannie E. Roberts writes, draws and paints, and often photographs her natural surroundings. Her fifth book, The Wingspan of Things, a poetry chapbook, is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press. She is the author of Romp and Ceremony, a full-length poetry collection (Finishing Line Press, 2017), Beyond Bulrush, a full-length poetry collection (Lit Fest Press, 2015), Nature of it All, a poetry chapbook (Finishing Line Press, 2013), and the author and illustrator of Let’s Make Faces!, a children’s book (2009). Her poems appear in online magazines, print journals, and anthologies. Born in Minneapolis, she divides her time between Minnesota and Wisconsin’s Chippewa Valley area. Learn more about her at jrcreative.biz.