The Penultimate Petal

December 5, 2018

Remember when we’d pick those forget me nots?

You’d always pick the blue ones because you said the white ones were too common. 

The dew drops still glistened

on each petal

like tentative tears

I’d feel the guilt at plucking this beautiful flower from the safety of its vines 

plucking at my core –

But I plucked it anyway. 

We’d sit on the damp grass

side by side

the blades of grass tickling the toes of our bare feet 

and pluck each petal

one by one:

“She loves me, she loves me not”

And I sat beside you 

Feeling the warmth of your skin

on mine

as our shoulders touched.

I wondered if you could feel

the thunderous beats of my heart 


through our light contact.

Then, with the last petal left, 

The “she loves me not”

Never left your lips.

You’d throw the unplucked petal to the ground

in that petulant way 

I’d come to love.


I would look at the abandoned flower,

with its remaining petal, looking as lonely as I felt,

and the guilt would be replaced

By hate —

I couldn’t understand why

It would want to lie to you

and hurt you in such a way. 

I’d forever remain the penultimate petal.  

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