I will not leave one word out · S. Stephanie

just because some have shutter thumbs
racing toward that next image
that stands out half – head in front
of the others – just because the small crowd
gathered along the fence skips every other
word to get to the finish line where
there are no flowers or standing ovation.
Nope. Not one word becomes champagne
at the end of this poem. There is

a simple meadow here
and it has one bee hovering above
a single Black-eyed Susan.
No one is questioning where the other
bees have gone. No one asks
if there are other flowers, perhaps
more deserving, or if this one
will survive the heat, the tornado
the current administration, or the impending

war. Nope. No one wins. This is it. This is
all there is for the crowd today. In the end
it is all about just one bee gathering
all it can from the slender Black-eyed Susan
who still waits for her Sweet William.
This poem is not a horse. It wears no saddle.
But for those of us who know their flowers
it is terribly and forever romantic.

S Stephanie’s poetry, fiction and book reviews have appeared in many literary magazines such as, Birmingham Poetry Review, Café Review, Cease, Cows, Rattle, St. Petersburg Review, Southern Indiana Review, The Southern Review, The Sun, Third Coast, and Wickford Art Association. She has three chapbooks out, teaches creative writing on the college and community level in NH, and respects cats. You can visit her website at sstephanie.com/.