I imagine it as it must had been
In her younger days: a vibrant
Decoration upon smooth, honey-brown skin.
Violets–outlined in black with petals,
Shaded in the color of their namesake–
Sprout forth from the small of her back,
Stretch out and spread their flowing
Petals across her shoulder blades.
I’ve seen photos of her in her 20s
Alternate on her slideshow picture frame.
She was a beauty. Her five children
Are evidence that someone had
Also found her attractive in her youth.
But whenever I strip her down–
Either for her daily bath or when
She has soiled her garments–I
Stare at the sagging skin on her
Back, at her wrinkly and drooping
Violets (that are no longer violet).
The flowers look wilted. They appear
Tossed upon her skin as if vanguard
For the flowers that will one day
Be thrown upon her casket.
A. J. Hayes
Give a poet a pen