He Punishes Me With Flowers

by Cindy Veach

       Knowing they’re my favorite 
he brings 
red gerbers to the settlement meeting. 

      Guilt schleps them back to my apartment. 
Guilt places them in the living room.
I can barely look at them 

      on the borrowed coffee table. 
Watch how I avert my eyes 
when I walk by. 

      I decide to help them die. 
Withhold water. Resist  
investigating the stems 

      for telltale signs of rot. 
They were scarlet. 
Now they’re darker. They’re dried 

      up blood. They sit there 
and insinuate. 



Cindy Veach is the author of Her Kind (CavanKerry Press, forthcoming 2021), Gloved Against Blood (CavanKerry Press), named a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize and a ‘Must Read’ by The Massachusetts Center for the Book, and the chapbook, Innocents (Nixes Mate). Her poems have appeared in the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day SeriesAGNI, Michigan Quarterly Review, Poet Lore, Diode and elsewhereShe is the recipient of the Philip Booth Poetry Prize and the Samuel Allen Washington Prize. Cindy is co-poetry editor of Mom Egg Reviewcindyveach.com

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