The florist cuts and
arranges roses.
And baby’s breath and
fronds of evergreen and
palms and laurels and
tiger lilies. He makes
funerary wreaths and
doctors wedding vases and
every spring cuts ribbons
to fill orders of corsages
for prom.

One day, the florist smiles
as he arranges posies
for his daughter’s birthday.

Years later he laughs
as he arranges bouquets
for her quinceañera.

A long time later his brow
is wrinkled and his eyes
behind wire-rimmed glasses
are tired but he still cuts
ribbon with ease.

Until one day the shop
stands empty. Bells
are tolling in the city center.
His daughter has white roses
in her hair and a veil
that shades her eyes and
she stands beside the counter
a baby in her arms, his
granddaughter, watching
while another florist
arranges flowers
for her father.

flowers on the bench of a florist
bouquet of flowers standing on the bench of a florist

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