Flower Child

They come back every year to lay flowers,
at the spot where she once studied
her face in the mirror,

like a mirage,
beauty without purpose.

They were the same ones who excavated her,
hollowed her empty of all her treasures,
scraping from cheek to cheek
until the constellation of freckles
that ran across her curved smiling face
was pale, and flat.

And then they were asking, was she worth it?

They took her words,
the dirt from under her fingernails,
her long, lustrous hair…

And how were they supposed to know that
seeds lived under her nail beds,
the same seeds that grow into flowers,

the same flowers they cut away from her
only to return them at her grave
where they could no longer grow.

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