Flowers in a Vase

Ira Lee White
2 min readApr 22, 2022


She took a knife from the kitchen drawer-

The pruning shears were hiding.

Holding it point down,

Like her father had taught her,

She walked slowly through the back door

Pausing a moment to inhale the fresh, cold air.

The tree covered mountains were beautiful this morning.

There was still snow on one peak.

“This is going to be difficult,” she thought,

“It’s still too cold for the blooms

David loved so much.”

But there were tulips, daffodils

And blue bells to choose from.

She cut a single stalk of blue bell,

Knowing he wouldn’t mind,

Then returned to the kitchen

Where a vase glinted in the morning light

Steaming through the window she had just washed.

The vase was nearly full-

Mostly Sun chokes, roses, and tulips.

She gently fingered a rose

Whose petals had dried.

It was meant for Jennifer,

A victim of suicide,

Who could no longer endure

Her pain from Bell’s Palsy.

This rose bloomed during a warm spell

In late Fall the day she died.

Many of the flowers were spent,

Some still fresh as an open wound.

Cathy, Jon, Sean, Velma, Omar-

She could still recall the name

Attached to each wilting flower

And the reason for each departure:

Heart attack, suicide, stroke and on and on.

Most were healthy making it through the pandemic.

“Why?” she asked the bright morning.

Carefully she pushed the stem

Into the crowded vase,

Sighing sadly with the knowledge

She would soon need another.



Ira Lee White

I am a writer living in Oregon. My writings can be found on this site and on my website, I am now retired from the USDA.