In the grey-streaked dawn I can barely glean
A deck of petals expertly dealt out in a ring
A clingy little flower, prest into the railing
Of the dew-drugged garden already the queen

O rose with your luscious crimson promise
Woolly chrysanthemum, the garden’s adonis
Sweet blooming dahlia with your heart of gold
Carnation. Bulbous fragrant hyacinth of old –

Before this nameless blossom clean and white
Your ebullient loveliness upon the grun
Emerging vibrant from the sheath of night
Is a perfect foil – suddenly blowsy, overdone

For this little pearl flower of my yearning
‘Lily’, I whisper, trace her name in a reverie
The not-lily flower stirs angrily, spurning
The wind which would trust it with her memory

My laughing little sister all in white macaroon
Scowls petulantly at the red sun’s capsizing
While I watch the lily-whiteness of the moon
Fade into the golden splendour of its rising


Hibah Shabkhez is a writer of the half-yo literary tradition, an erratic language-learning enthusiast, a teacher of French as a foreign language and a happily eccentric blogger.

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