Daisies on a Thursday

he gave me daisies

on a thursday.

they smelled

oddly like snow–

fresh and cold

and a little sad.

maybe that’s why

they’re my favourite.

i clutched them

to my chest for the remainder

of the evening

because no boy

had ever given me

anything so pure

before.

 

i kept the daisies

for two weeks

after he gave them to me,

until they were wilting

and smelling of rot.

i guess that is

what i do with most things

in my life–

hold onto them

even while they’re

dying

and keep them

long after they’re dead.

 

i threw the daisies

away on a monday.

tossed them

into the compost

with the other

dead things–

chicken bones

from that night’s supper

and other unwanted food.

and i don’t know why

but it kept me up

that night.

i couldn’t stop thinking

about the daisies

decaying in that bin

with all the other rubbish–

i didn’t understand

how something so pure

and clean and beautiful

could be forgotten and buried

in a heap with all the other mush

we throw away.

it seemed like they

should have been remembered

for their beauty.

because even though

they were old

they were still once beautiful.

they still

meant something.

 

i fixated on it

all night.

is this really what it comes to?

throwing things away

when they get old

because we don’t place value

in things that can’t hold their beauty?

no.

that’s not how it should be.

that’s not how i am.

i ended up

rummaging through

the compost bin outside

for the daisies,

and found them

covered in fishbones.

i picked the bones off,

took the daisies inside,

and placed them

in a fresh water-filled vase

on my bookshelf.

 

my mother didn’t

come down to my room

for a week after that,

but when she finally did

she took the daisies away.

she told me

that they were dead now,

that they smelled rotten,

that the petals were falling

all over the floor.

i did not protest.

i stared at the blank spot

on my bookshelf

where they been

for the rest of the evening

and well into the night.

 

he gave me the daisies

on a thursday.

i mourned over them

on a sunday.

i don’t know why

i am so deeply saddened

by funerals for such

small things.

perhaps it’s because

i am worried

that one day

i, too, will expire.

that my skin

with grow wrinkled with age,

that my hair will turn

an unflattering shade of grey,

that my beauty will fade

and take me with it.

and then slowly

people will not place

especial value in me

because i will not be

beautiful anymore–

i will not smell like snow,

because instead

i will smell like i am dying.

i will be rotting

from the outside in

and there will be nothing

i can do about it.

 

it sounds silly

but it took me

a long time

to get over the daisies.

i felt guilty

about letting my mother

throw them away.

on one tuesday,

i found a single white

petal on the floor

of my bedroom,

all dried up and crinkled

from time.

i carried it around

in my pocket

for a few weeks after that,

fingering it gently

now and again,

weary of it’s delicate

and crumbling state.

i’d press it

against my lips

to see if it had a taste

(it didn’t.)

and i’d hold it up to my nose

to see if it still smelled

like snow

(i pretended it did.)

 

this morning

i set the petal free.

it is a wednesday.

i held it in my palm

one moment

and let the wind

take it in the next.

i found it kind of funny

because this is not

even the season for daisies–

this season with its cold

and wind and ice.

but it felt strangely liberating.

like i was finally

letting go

of some part of me

that had been trying to leave

for a very long time.

i learned that,

you know.

it was a lesson

in saying goodbye

to things

that don’t belong

in me anymore,

because i can’t hold on

forever–

 

and to think

that it all began

with daisies

on a thursday.

 


 

The above is a poem that I wrote, I think, to try and purge myself of some things I have been holding onto for a long time. Things that have now outstayed their welcome in the hostel of my heart and on the empty side of my bed.

The other night, very late, I was looking at these daisies on my bookshelf that a boy had given me almost three weeks prior, and the line “he gave me daisies on a thursday” seemed to appear on my tongue out of nowhere. And I thought, “Oh, well, you know, Poetry Gods, it’s pretty late now, so do I really have to write this in this very moment, or can I do it tomorrow?” And, of course, I knew that it was something I had to write in that very moment, so I sat down, at 11:30 at night, and began to write this poem that seemed to just pour out of me–that is how I knew it was something I had been trying to say for a long time.

For me, this poem symbolizes my need to let go of things that don’t belong inside of me anymore–things that I have been trying to let go of for a long time, and without much success–there are just some things in life that leave you. . . haunted. You know? Some people who, even after you’ve said goodbye, keep returning to you like ghosts. And after a while it makes you feel that way–haunted.

It makes it even harder to let go for good. Even though you know you should. Even though you know you need to.

And I think the only way I knew how to make peace with that was through this poem–the narrator’s journey in learning to let go of the daisies is a representation of my own life. The daisies represented  something that were once beautiful but have since started to rot, and because of that, the narrator needs to learn how to let go of them, in the same way I needed to learn how to let go of the ghosts that have been haunting me for a long time.

Through writing this poem, I learned a lesson in letting go, and all because of a kind hearted boy who had given me daisies on a Thursday.


Daisies on a Thursday

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8 thoughts on “Daisies on a Thursday

  1. Oh, Hope –

    I read the title of this piece and I instantly knew what you were talking about. I’ve never imagined that receiving flowers from somebody could have such an impact on someone. But then again, I have never given, nor been given, a sentimental gift like this. I find it oddly heartwarming (and a little funny) that your mind instantly went to the symbolism of purity and the colour white from the flowers your narrator received on the first stanza, then contrasted it with the filth and decay that is time. Your poetry is just so simple, and that’s what is giving me this sad, small feeling. Perhaps it is the lack of punctuation, perhaps it is the short, simple lines, or perhaps it is just knowing this story on a slightly personal level, reading about two people that I have such powerful respect for. I also understand your want to “purge [your]self of some things [you] have been holding onto for a long time”. Such is the mindset of people who find it so hard to let go. It’s almost painful, how your thoughts go in circles around the same topic even when all you want is for them to just wither away and die. Your daises on a Thursday must have made that ever more difficult.

    All that being said: I don’t know you. I will never understand you. I can, at the very least, sympathize with you, understand the inspiration for this. You write with such power in poetry, just as I find power in piece of length. For you, simplicity and generalization make this work powerful. For me, it is specificity and complexity that works. In every way, we are different, yet there was so much that I learned from this. Not only from my reflection about my own experience ‘letting go’, but a reminder on how even the purest of things can turn sour with time. There are plenty more flowers to come, do not let this set be the one that scares you.

    Really, thank you. I hope that you are able to find peace after writing this poem – sometimes a midnight hour of writing is all we need.
    Much love,
    ~Areeb

    P.S: I loved the note about the ”Poetry Gods”, it gave me a much-needed laugh.

  2. Dear Hope,

    Just wow. Your poem is so simple and elegant – sort of like a daisy – that I felt it explains itself perfectly. Through a beautiful anecdote, it encapsulates that whole universal struggle of losing value and purpose. I really admire the way you can write so matter-of-factly about these little moments while still conveying a universe of meaning. Even being able to perceive symbolic meaning in a moment others would overlook as mundane is an incredible skill, which you clearly posses in volumes.

    In terms of improvement, what can I say? Honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing about any of it. Sometimes an analysis can almost detract from such a well-articulated poem, but yours maintained the tone of the poem and expanded upon it brilliantly.

    Thanks so much for sharing your writing!

    ~Lauryn

    1. Lauryn,

      thank you so much for reading my blog and commenting–i really appreciate it. (also i’m glad that you thought the explaination was sufficient because i was a bit worried about it–i hate explaining my work.)

      -hope

  3. What an amazing poem – thanks for sharing! It feels thematically like a Shakespearean sonnet with a modern twist.
    You’re right! *sniff sniff* My grey hair smells like death. I better go take a shower!

    – Mr McClare

    1. Mr. McClare,

      thank you so much for reading and commenting on my blog! that’s such an interesting point about the Shakespearean Sonnet vibe, and it’s not one i’d ever thought of before, so thank you for that!

      -hope

      (P.S. hahaha i’m sure you don’t smell like death, but that certainly made me laugh!)

  4. Hope,

    It’s taken me years to work up the courage to say this, but I have always been a huge fan of your writing. Without a doubt, I would say that you’re one of my favourite writers in this class. I must also say–in regards to your remark about the “poetry gods”–that I relate immensely to the pain of having a writing epiphany late at night. It’s a frustrating feeling, but you know that you have to write down that idea before it slips away from you, no matter how tired you are or how inconvenient the time is. I must say though, that the phrase “daisies on a Thursday” has a very poetic ring to it, as if there’s some kind of tragic story behind it, but that’s just my take on it. Considering that we’re at the very end of our time in this AP class, I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of letting go and moving on, and because of that, this poem really struck a chord with me. Letting go is a hard thing to do, especially if you’re emotionally attached to whatever you’re moving on from, whether it be a person, or something such as this AP class (which, quite frankly, I’m going to have a lot of issues letting go of). However, like you pointed out, it is necessary to move on, or you’re never going to be able to move forward. Quite literally in the poem, because the narrator held onto the daisies for so long, they ended up becoming an inhibition, and not a gentle reminder of the boy’s affection.

    You’ve always had an incredibly unique voice in your writing that I personally love. It feels that you write everything with purpose, and that there’s always some sort of deeper meaning behind what you’re discussing. For that reason, I’ve always found your writing to be absolutely captivating. This poem was no exception to that, and I found this work of yours to be incredibly profound, especially since I felt such a personal connection to the themes you were writing about. I know I’m technically supposed to leave constructive criticism in my comments, but I honestly can’t find anything that I could criticize about this poem, and this is by far one of the best works that I’ve read from you.

    – Genevieve

    1. Genevieve,

      thank you so much for your beautiful comment–i have always loved your writing too!!

      -hope

      (P.S. honestly, thank you so much for this comment, because it truly made my day)

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