A letter arrives with his name on it,
a request to join the American Legion.
Honey, they want me to be a member,
to honor me for my Naval Service–
only twenty-five dollars, he asks.
An invitation addressed only to him,
twenty-five dollars to once again belong.
He cuts out the sample membership card,
forgetting there is any fee to pay,
like a small child pretending
to be grown up, he tucks it inside his wallet,
an anchor to keep him in this life
even as the ship of his mind
drifts on towards the next.
There’s a sterile beauty
in this small purple flower
two panes of glass,
its yellow center
still holding onto a wisp
of translucent green stem,
illuminated in the sunlight.
His wife, once a wildflower
blowing in the wind,
is a permanent display
in the museum
of his incessant demands.
He’s plucked her over and over,
pressed her between his panes
of perfection and displeasure
until all that is left
is a flattened viola bloom
he hangs, perfectly framed.
Michelle Wiegers is a poet, creative writer and mind-body life coach based in Southern Vermont. Her poems are inspired by her mind-body recovery from decades of chronic symptoms, the Vermont landscape and her own backyard. Her work has appeared in How to Love the World, The Path to Kindness, Birchsong and Third Wednesday, among others. In her coaching and teaching work, she is a passionate advocate for helping chronic pain and fatigue sufferers heal. michellewiegers.com