Stop Two-Growing


My husband announced he’s a peony.

He no longer feels like himself

as his petals open more and more.

Ever more layers appear.

Just about the time he thinks

he’ll see the pattern of his center

more petals appear.

His flower gets bigger,

the layers more dense.

I think he’s red but then I wonder

if there is a red peony.

So I check.

Find a red hybrid called ‘blaze.’

Perfect. It’s bright like his once red hair,

Like his soul in love but blaze’s petals

aren’t dense enough

for how he feels.


I know what he means

I’m blooming too

opening the petals of myself

to this man who is my husband.

This is new, being un-afraid to

say what I think,

to be who I am.

Even when our petals should fall to the ground,

we keep blooming.


We grow from roots planted in the dark,

rich and fertile brown soil

deep inside Mother Earth.

The yellow stamens at our centers

are the light from our suns

and our petals the gift of our

ever-growing love.

                Janice DeRuiter Eskridge © 2014

About Winding Stream Press

Janice DeRuiter Eskridge, M.F.A. is a poet who worked for over a decade as a poet-teacher for California Poets in the Schools. Helen Shoemaker, Ph.D. L.M.F.T. is a university professor who teaches in the areas of child development and counseling. She is also a therapist in private practice.
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