Giovanna Garzoni, Flowers in a glass vase

by Catherine Rockwood

Let me drown deep. Let me be lost and found
inside this vase I once set on the ground.
Lopsided glass, quick-fused to a small base.  

That’s easiest.  Above it, thick, a crush
of softening flowers, cut in early hush
by servants of the palle who deferred

each choice to me.  And then, all day, I looked.
The painter’s secret’s what the painter took,
her hours.  Find in my work record of those

wherever leaf declines, where the red poppy
bright daffodil, smooth tulips and narcissi
subside with heads drawn downward by the dark

that blooms inside the vessel holding them.  
Their water’s somewhat old and every stem
pressed up against the glass has lost its prime

but I these glories spent in saving	          mine.  

Catherine Rockwood‘s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Reckoning MagazineScoundrel Time, SWWIM, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and elsewhere.  You can find her nonfiction and reviews in JMWW, Mom Egg Review, and Strange Horizons.  Her poetry chapbook, Endeavors to Obtain Perpetual Motion, is forthcoming from the Ethel Zine Press in 2022.