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from Remember the Flowers
Winner (Poetry) of the 2021 Stone Soup Book Contest

Four years old in late September,
kindergarten on a weekday.
Sometimes I spoke.
Those days were rare.
The lunch monitor
resolved to help,
but finding the kids I’d
open my mouth for
was rolling the dice,
again and again.
I played with her, I played with him—
still no words
came forth back then.

One day she rolled, and the sides came up even.
Go sit with her, she said.
I went to the girl
by the orange cubbies
with that kind of lunch box opening into a tray
of purple plastic containers all lined
with name-tag stickers in loopy letters
and butterflies of pink and blue.
I could hear a smile in her voice.
And then
I looked up.

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.