Study in Pink and Green

These beautiful flowers must inspire something! They are so delicate and colorful. What story, poem or prose could come from this image? That is the beauty of using photos as creative prompts. If you stare long enough at the images, something will come.

A corsage is what came to mind. I barely remember to one dance that I attended in high school, but I know that many girls went to those dances. What I did remember was a time that I visited one of my childhood friends as she was getting ready for a dance. It wasn’t a school dance, but a country club event. She and I were once best friends, but we grew apart. We don’t see much of each other today, but I she will always be an integral part of my earliest memories. I don’t remember feeling jealous of her, ever. What I recall is how I felt an increasing difference is us as we grew. Here is the poem:

I pinned the pink and green bloom to
her satin dress. There wasn’t much room.
Her shoulders bony. Blue cap sleeves
falling slightly around her tender frame.
Blonde curls falling. I pushed them aside
as I had since we were girls. She had
a dancer’s body. At 16, I drew attention
from much older men. Once, an artist painted
my eyes. She claimed they begged to
be recognized. As if she knew, they weren’t.

“Wash your hands. You don’t want to get
make-up on your dress” I tell her. She nods,
smiles and leaps down the stairs, tripping
on the hem of her gown. I see her from her
bedroom window as she dashes toward
the honking car in the drive. I let myself out.
I am comfortable in my friend’s home.
Walking home, one block, I think
of her blue-dress party. Her country
club date. Me in my hip-hugger jeans,
brownish, stringy hair. How could I know
what would bloom? She was always a delicate
pink corsage. I a sturdy yellow petal.
Both useful, both lovely, each in her own way.

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