Fallen Flowers

Fallen Flowers


by Kurt Baumeister

Published initially in The Oddville Press Spring 2019 issue


Your dresses of pale rose and budding sunflower,
carnation, marigold, and tulip made time slow,
made me dream there was nothing wrong with the
cheap wines, Louisiana nights, streetlights, the mists
and fogs, the closing specters of war and truth and
dawn. In the evenings, I’d find you waiting as your
flower of the day, the dress an excuse for conversation,
a way to forget the waiting world. It never took long
for the words to die, for the silk to gather, flowers
fallen at our feet. And on that last night, as I left,
as you slept, I saw the flowers as they were, truth cut,
cunning symbols, coming realization that he would
return from the war he’d chosen over you, that you
would forgive him as you always had. That the
flowers meant nothing, or were, at best, lies; the
only thing we’d shared withered on the ground.

if there were

Published in the Winter ’17 issue of The Oddville Review

by Kurt Baumeister

 

I remember being five or four or three

Asking my mother if there was a Hell

And if I was going. I never got

A good answer. Never got

The one I needed. Though I know

She gave me the one I wanted.

 

I remember dreaming about nuclear war

Running and hiding in my mind’s eye

Knowing the world was about to end

Two days two minutes two ticks

To midnight. Hoping it wouldn’t

Still thinking maybe there was a chance.

 

To be a child was to cry and be confused

To laugh little, to dream of other lives

That might have been better still

To be a man is to put away the child

To know that Hell and nuclear war

Are only as real as we make them.

 

But you will never stop asking your mother

For the answers. Even after you realize,

She never had them, and she never could.

Still you will call, “Mom?” long after

She is gone. Still you will wonder about Hell

And nuclear war.

 

Click to access The-Oddville-Press-Winter-2017.pdf

 

Dead Heart

By Kurt Baumeister

Published in the Summer ’16 issue of The Oddville Press:

 

Flown astride a church’s spire
A saffron rag clips the wind
Once a dress but now a banner
Once fell to earth but rose again
Once showing her, now slicing
Lower air, thick with birds
Circling, cutting the sky, whirling
Blades, a budding haze, memory
Still bears her pain, held high
Forces unseen, horses galloping,
Free to roam steppes of air,
The fires set, pitch made to flame,
Drum beat in the martial night
The rhythm like her dead heart
And still the dress like a flag

 

Click to access The-Oddville-Press-Summer-2016.pdf