The Red Lilies

The Red Lilies
by Theodora Goss

This morning, the lilies are on fire,

I don’t know where such passion comes from,
unless maybe they’re in love with the light
falling on them through the window:
a cold winter light, gray and blue,
in which the lilies are blazing.

Eventually, they’ll burn themselves out.
But meanwhile, I’m warming my hands by them,
which is a bit dangerous. If I get too close
and singe my fingers, and later people ask
what happened, I’ll have to explain
it was an accident, that I caught fire from the lilies
on my dining room table.

Every week, I buy myself flowers
at the market for three dollars a bunch:
Peruvian lilies, which are practical, they last so long,
especially if you remember to change the water.
But I never considered they could ignite,
even if only metaphorically.

Although people have died of metaphor.

Poetry is no safer than these lilies,
arranged in a green and gray pottery jar
on a lace doily crocheted by my grandmother.
Get too close, you will inevitably
start to burn.

Vase with Red Gladioli by Vincent Van Gogh

(The image is Vase with Red Gladioli by Vincent Van Gogh, which is the closest I could come to red lilies . . .)

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Red Lilies

  1. Helen Lowe says:

    I enjoyed the poem: thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s