Borderline

Roadside flowers,
Roughly tugged and presented
In a grubby hand
And a tumbler of tap water.
She was allergic.
I’d thought only of the colour.

Often I turned miscellaneous words
Into spiderweb;
Soft but steel-strong, slowly encasing
Dreams. Notions. Needs.
I would spin a cocoon
Of misinterpretation
And abandon anything trapped inside.

I stood, quiet and unknowing
While jealousy roiled and seethed,
To see a friend hold her mother’s hand.
My poor child mind
Made disasters and perversions
Of all that I craved.

My mother brings me gifts of things
She guesses a girl like me would like
And I clutch them
As if they were truly previous
Like I clutch my daughter’s posies of
Sour weed, beach dandelion, and clover.
I’ll sneeze later.

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