from Remember the Flowers
Winner (Poetry) of the 2021 Stone Soup Book Contest
All I knew of the cold
was the grocery store—
the frozen food aisle where
we shivered in our T-shirts
while Umma piled gluten-free pizza into our cart,
the cardboard covered in frost,
disguising the image of promised
tomatoes that would thaw and bake in the oven,
their warmth exploding in your mouth
on a lazy Saturday afternoon.
We felt we were frozen, you and I, as we
passed packaged peas
and hardened mango chunks.
We huddled beneath our shopping bags,
wore them like capes,
ignoring the amused smiles
of warm, sweatered customers.
We distracted our shivering minds
with images of chocolate and vanilla ice cream
shining from the tops of lids,
an image denying reality.
We begged Umma to pick one up.
The scoops seemed to smile at me.
She passed right by the ice cream section—
it was cold again.
Remember the Flowers was released on September 1, 2022.
You can order the book at Barnes & Noble or through our Amazon store: Amazon.com/stonesoup.