One Week After

The flowers have wilted now. 
Burnt orange half moon pistils 
burst forth from a sea of darkening,
lily white. 

Amid the detritus living
on the kitchen counter: discarded
dirty socks, molding dish sponge, 
half-empty casserole pan, unsigned 
school assignments, sits a yellow vase. 
I find myself furious at the browning, 
crinkled remnants of life 
so recently vibrant. 

We’ll take the dried, disintegrating petals 
to the compost bin where the worms 
will grow drunk on death. 
We’ll feed your memory 
to next year’s roses. 


Camille Lebel, educator and mother to seven, lives on a small hobby farm outside of Memphis, Tennessee. She’s published in Rogue Agent Journal, Literary Mama, Sledgehammer Lit, Sparks of Calliope, Black Fox Literary Magazine and more. She enjoys writing, traveling, and horse-whispering. She largely writes in the school car-line as a way to process special needs parenting, child loss, religious trauma, and more.