She sees the flowers are red flags
like pennants hauled up, heralding danger,
hailing the world and its lovers
watch out, watch out.
On long stalks they wobble
and wave, handkerchiefs flaring
long after the ship has left port,
their scarlet hue a constancy,
each flower, proud,
a finger pointing,
come back, come back.
At their base, sun pours
through leaves, shafts of light
like stained glass,
veins etched lead solder.
One stem rises in a separate salute,
its arc empty of flowers,
green hasps like tiny medieval chalices.
They cast shadows on the table,
love hearts, all of them.