Fathom Mag

When Flowers Wither

A poem

Published on:
April 13, 2020
Read time:
2 min.
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If a poet once
compared forest to cathedral,
it’s not too far off to say
that clouds are fancy goldfish
and the wind is their home.
Golden hills are retrievers
with rippling fur, and I—

am I a flower of the field?
The speaker remembers
a golden daffodil, with
wind tossed petals, dancing.

Watching clouds
swim by,
watching clouds

The shade turns
sharp, and the rain
beats down.

Joy becomes
a memory of sunshine
fading in the night sky.

God made the hills
and the swaying shady trees.
He made the clouds.
He set winds in motion.

He told Job,
I make the lightening crash.

We are flowers of the field.
We grow, wilt, and grow again.
We grow and are crushed, but grow again.

The sun always comes
in the morning, but
how many times
will I fade and brighten
before I wither
for good?

How many life lessons?
Heart breaks?
Opportunities for sanctification,
(as I say
to feel polite)
will roll over me before God says

I’m not the only one who asks
what’s the point
of one little flower,
upturned and sun-filled, until


And still, says the poet,
still falls the rain.

I lay.
I breathe.

Mud splatters my face,
and I think
I won’t grow again.
I don’t want to grow again.

A psychologist said
the scariest inkblot test
is one where the blots are just ink.

Imagination is soul retention,
a saving grace.
Through the car window
I glimpse dry, scratchy grass
along the spine of a hill,
and recall golden fur.

The memories whisper,
storms end.
And painfully, I
retrain loops of thought.

Nullify. Soothe. Heal.
Imagine brokenness redeemed.
Pray, this brokenness be redeemed.

My four-year-old stares up
at the orange tree.
No bees, because no blossoms.
He looks closer.

“When the flowers die,
they come into fruit.”

I lay still,
and through the ground I feel
the pulse of sap running through trees
like a heartbeat.

Listening to the steady, patient
breathing of creation, I wait
as God gets ready
to renew.

Sarah L. Yoon
Sarah L. Yoon lives in a whirlwind. While her husband, son, and Airedale terrier dig holes in the backyard, she forms creative communities, writes interior design articles for Engaged Media, and pushes her storytelling to the next level. Her work has appeared in Every Day Fiction and she received an honorable mention from Glimmer Train Press’s Very Short Fiction March/April 2018. Find Sarah on Twitter @sarahlyoon and Instagram @slywriter.

Cover image by Joey Banks