She fingers through
long, draping vines
of light pink petunias,
while delicately popping off
old, darkened blooms.
She can’t help but notice
the beautiful fuchsia faces
of newly-formed flowers
and the promise of baby buds.
Waves of spreading petunias
cover the hanging basket
as waves of memories return
to her heart’s keeping.
She remembers specifics-
She fondly embraces all of this.
She quietly thinks of him and the others—
all troops today—as she gets closer to the plant.
She carefully removes more yellow leaves,
discards more shriveled-up flower heads.
She recalls memories-
She honorably remembers all of this.
Suddenly, the front porch door swings open;
her little fellow’s fingers elevate a small flag.
“Mama, I’m holding the flag for Daddy.”
She scoops the little guy up quickly,
hugs him tenderly—her fingertips barely touch
the flapping flag.
She walks toward the plant
as she sees another yellow leaf and
just a few more brown blooms.
Before slipping inside her home,
she touches one tiny bud and whispers
a prayer of hope and everlasting peace.