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Fall 2006

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Ten Flowers
Richard Cambridge

This morning I picked ten flowers –
primroses, pale-yellow and gold –
for the cream pitcher-vase on the altar.
When I finished praying I said,
In Thy Name and by Thy Flowers, Amen.
I thought to correct it, but God said, No,
Let’s try flowers instead of power today.

What if, in the place of an angry fist
a bouquet of flowers broke upon a face?
Instead of a bloody lip, the question –
Who have you been kissing this morning?
What a day could follow from a question like that!
Why get out of bed, or leave the altar?
Do Nothing! Proclaim it Holy!
Let the generals do the fighting!
A child’s hand will overturn their chessboards.
The scent of primroses is early morning spring rain.