The Only Flower Remaining 
A. F. Moritz

Tonight my mother said jauntily, “They told me
it was congestive heart failure––I suppose
that’s what it’ll be on my death certificate
but not today.” She was merry. No note of defiance.
She found it funny––is ninety-three––
was alert and amused, encountering new things,
surmounting them easily, handling them
with a happy word.

And I suppose that some day soon the only remaining
poetry will be about people in hospital rooms
for the comfort of others soon to be
in hospital rooms. And the only flower
remaining to combat the light
will sit little watered in a plastic pot
on the window ledge of a hospital room
where the poet once painted the deceased
overlooking the plant completely
to yearn through the dirty crystal to the sky.

A. F. Moritz has written more than twenty books of poetry, most recently The Sparrow and As Far As You Know. His many honours include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Bess Hokin Prize, and an Ingram Merrill Fellowship. He currently serves as the sixth poet laureate of the City of Toronto, and as the Goldring Professor of the Arts and Society at Victoria College, University of Toronto.

Read A. F. Moritz interviewed by Lauren Peat.


©2024 Volume Poetry
Join our mailing list:

Follow us on instagram.
Submit your work to Volume:

Site design by Nick Fogarty