All of your hearts will be broken, I know-
that’s just the way our world spins around.
As I stand at the pulpit
to model folds and cuts
I’m masking my frustration, too.
They want them to be perfect, these flowers-
twenty paper roses in progress-
I can’t make them trust enough
in a mother’s blind love
can’t tell them their tears are too much
for me at the helm of this project,
witnessing the signs of their futures.
These tears for crinkled paper,
rivers when they’ve grown
and weathered harder storms than arts ‘n crafts,
are kicking up the helplessness in me.
I cannot stop the dark days which will come,
turn their holidays to nuisance,
pulverize the fun of love,
and I cannot help them fold a perfect rose.
But for them I welcome arthritis tonight,
my best effort to model more than art-
from my paper-cut fingers
to my class of young sprouts:
twenty fragile, perfect paper roses.