by Thu Nguyen

Almost all fathers are the same: they want flowers.
They tell their daughters to eat flowers
for breakfast, and put flowers in their hair.

Women become flower gatherers,
collect petals, but neglect the wholesome roots.
When it is time to love, men give them pressed flowers.

The name Trang means pinwheel flower;
you may take its honey sucking from the stem
if you are thirsty for something sweet.

Chrysanthemum tea is made of crushed yellow buds,
you can drink it while eating the flower cake
that follows the floating-flower soup.

Her father did not want a daughter or a flower.
She is allergic to blooms, their dust, the Spring.
Her name means: rare book, scholar, not a flower.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 23, Issue 2.

Thu Anh Nguyen is a poet whose poetry has been featured in NPR’s “Social Distance” poem for the community, The Crab Orchard Review, The Salt River Review, 3Elements, Connections, and RapGenius. The author’s poems were also named as a semi-finalist for the Auburn Witness Poetry Prize for the Southern Humanities Review. She was honored with a writing residency with The Inner Loop Poetry Series in Washington, D.C. She also writes about equity, justice, and community through literacy. Her essays on the importance of reading diverse literature have been featured in Literacy Today.

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