{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade.

Page 211

North Carolina Miscellany

N C L R ONLINE

211

FINALIST, 2019 JAMES APPLEWHITE POETRY PRIZE BY BARBARA CAMPBELL

The Tender

COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

She couldn’t have known, bless her heart, but my daughter-in-law brings me a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers – mums, roses, zinnias – before she and my son say what would be their last goodbye to his dying father. Here’s the truth about cut flowers – they make me nervous, their death sealed with that first scissored clip and strung out over days as water turns foul and murky. I triage the unredeemable but still snip remaining stems and plunge them into fresh water as if they had a chance. I rub my husband’s feet and his skin is soft, silky as those rose petals I just discarded. His dwindling brain, scarred lungs will have their way with him soon enough. What I dread is the onslaught of wreaths, sprays, bouquets – all left here for me.

BARBARA CAMPBELL lives in Charlotte, NC, and has had poems published in Rattle, Kakalak, Journey Within, Pinesong, and The Southern Poetry Anthology, North Carolina. This is her first poem to appear in NCLR.

Juxtapose Rose (acrylic, wire, thread, sculptural organza on canvas, 30x40) by Jane Cheek

JANE CHEEK lives in Raleigh, NC. She received a BA in Visual Arts Applications from NC State and a Visual Arts Teacher Certification from ECU. She has exhibited her art throughout the Triangle, including at 311 Gallery, ArtSpace, United Arts Council, and The Arts Center. See more of her work on her website.

Profile for East Carolina University

North Carolina Literary Review Online 2020  

A literary review published online annually by East Carolina University and by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association.

North Carolina Literary Review Online 2020  

A literary review published online annually by East Carolina University and by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association.

Advertisement