The Tulips (On My Counter) Are Dying by Michelle Porter

POEM NAME: The tulips (on my counter) are dying AUTHOR NAME: Michelle Porter POEM: You are drunk women, retching and grasping The rim of your lives with leaf fingernails. Shocked by the massacre in your petals, They told you “it gets better”— And did that platitude carry your suffering for you? Your water carried in the palms of those Who shaped and picked you for their pleasure? “It gets better” wasn’t yours, was it? Not With your straight stems, your three-chambered Secrets, your darkening ovaries. Though, of course, You repeated it to yourselves, didn’t you? You whispered “It gets better” to yourselves as you held your breath For pruning, keeping still as a corpse for cutting, Confessing your doubts with the shudder of packing, Praying through the crackle of delivery, and dying with the sudden Descent into cold, clear water. No bulb anymore, Nothing to hold you upright in this world. “It gets better” means nothing to you now, does it? And why should it? Six petals, six sepals, Six stamens, one flaccid pistil, and a loose, lippy Three-lobed stigma. You dream of the dirt that gripped Your feet while you were still part earth. For you, It does not get better, it will not get better, not For drunken tulips, leaning over a plastic palisade, not for you. END OF POEM. CREDITS: Copyright © Michelle Porter Previously published in Inquiries (Breakwater Books, 2019). Michelle Porter’s first book of poetry, Inquiries, was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award for Best Book of Poetry in Canada in 2019. Approaching Fire is her newest book — a creative nonfiction exploration of the history of her great-grandfather, who was a Métis fiddler. She is a citizen of the Métis Nation and member of the Manitoba Metis Federation. She currently lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.