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    bright painting of flowers in a blue vase

    Poem: “Stopping By with Flowers”

    By Bruce Bennett

    June 1, 2022
    3 Comments
    3 Comments
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    • Elizabeth Claman

      What a poignant and lovely poem. And the artwork you've chosen to support it is perfect!

    • Rena Goldberg

      I love it. I know just what you're saying.

    • Henry Lewis

      A fine poem. Very fine.

    This poem is the winner of Plough’s 2022 Rhina Espaillat Poetry Award.


    I used to bring back flowers for my mother.
    I’d stop the car and gather a small bunch.
    She’d always be surprised, and always grateful.
    She’d put them in a vase. Could we have lunch?
    I wasn’t free, but that part did not matter
    so much, I told myself. It was the thought.
    She loved my stopping by for those few minutes.
    Still, I’d feel guilty, since I felt I ought
    to visit far more often, and for longer.
    She never said it, but I knew she knew
    that I could make the time. I’d sometimes linger,
    but then I’d go do what I had to do,
    hoping that what I could and did not say
    might be made up for by that small bouquet.

    bright painting of flowers in a blue vase

    Odilon Redon, Bouquet of Flowers, 1912

    Contributed By Bruce Bennett Bruce Bennett

    Bruce Bennett is the author of ten full-length collections of poetry and more than thirty poetry chapbooks. He was awarded a Pushcart Prize in 2012, and his poems have appeared widely in literary journals, textbooks, and anthologies.

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    3 Comments