Sestina: The Plastic Flower

Plastic Blue Flower

Ending words – A: Plastic B: Cloth C: Blue D: Eternity E: Alone F: Memory.

Form – abcdef, faebdc, cfdabe, ecbfad, deacfb, bdfeca, be/dc/fa (with each letter corresponding to the word ending the line, not rhyme or iamb [there are neither intended]).

——————

The Plastic Flower

I found a flower made of plastic
in my grandma’s attic, its leaves a fine cloth.
It stood at a slant in a cracked glass vase, blue
edges fading to an eggshell white, waiting for eternity.
It had remained in the dusty room alone,
for years, listening as we lived our memories.

I asked my grandma if she had any memory
of the flower. She rubbed its plastic
stem and twirled it between her fingers, lost alone
with the flower somewhere in her mind. The cloth
swayed gently as it spun, rewinding eternity
while the wind around it blew.

The flower’s leaves were a gradient of blue,
its stem encased in plastic and chipped by memories.
Dust nested inside the stalk, eternally
trapped within the ageless object’s plastic.
The azure leaves, stitched from cloth,
never touched the stem, but wilt alone.

Grandma smiled. She was no longer alone
in her mind. Yet still her blue
eyes looked elsewhere, hands resting on the cloth
of her apron, its shape burned into my memory.
With her pointer nail, she picked at the plastic
of the flower, releasing a speck of eternity.

The scentless flower had lived for an eternity,
ageless and timelessly alone.
Concealed in its translucent, plastic
existence, only the fading blue
of the flower’s leaves revealed the memories
it had watched, as silent as the tarnished cloth.

My grandma flicked the cloth,
the leaves quivered in eternal
slowness. Her smile faded back to memory,
and I was once again alone,
watching her read the plastic.

Grandma kissed the cloth and placed the flower back down, alone,
concealing an eternity behind her blue
eyes. She had no memory of the plastic.


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