Flowers in a Time of Plague                                                 by Catherine Anderson

Yellow roses on long, de-thorned stems,
soft-striped lilies with stamens curled
like a choir of questions.
Your cluster for me purchased swiftly 
from the masked florist
weaving between buckets in the grocery
aisle of necessary items, a time when 
chartreuse appeared, then fuchsia,
April-hued and fully saturated, 
the greens rained green.
When we met, I embraced their shy 
leaves and petals spilled 
from the basket of your arms into mine
because we couldn’t touch. 
My curled proxies, my substitutes,
their beauty animate yet soon 
to fade. I placed them upright 
in a vase as you watched.

Catherine Anderson’s most recent collection of poetry is Everyone I Love Immortal (Woodley Memorial Press). Other titles include Woman with a Gambling Mania (Mayapple Press), The Work of Hands (Perugia Press) and In the Mother Tongue (Alice James Books). She lives and works in Kansas City.

Editor Katelyn Roth graduated from Pittsburg State University with her Master’s in poetry. Her work has previously appeared online at Silver Birch Press and at Heartland: Poems of Love, Resistance, and Solidarity. She lives, works, and writes in Kansas City.

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