Home > prose poem > Violets in a Bowl at Daybreak

Violets in a Bowl at Daybreak


Have you ever watched a boxer tape up his hands – the precision in preparing for a fight? It is methodical, like surgery, each woven line clean enough to cut if it had an edge. It is acceptance of the inevitable: that bruises happen, and the best we can do is prepare ourselves. It doesn’t matter who swings first; we are our own weapons. And this sacrifice of our pristine selves is ragged and ugly. Someone rings a bell, you get in the ring, and all of hell starts.

The opposite offering is violets in a bowl at daybreak. Remember what you were doing August 2012? Remember the words and the phone ringing, how everything just stopped in a single breath? Change, no matter how you dress it up, is never pretty. The bowl cracks. The violets don’t mean forever. And yet, it is its own beginning. It is how things become more than what they were. It is how we become more than what we are.

The secret to each thing is vulnerability. In order to gain, you have to give up yourself. This is how a heartbeat slows to match another. This is how you run, ready for a chase. This is how we offer broken ribs and glass, bloody lips and rivers. This is how the lingering night dares to bring out the stars –how the moon says yes when we cannot find the words. This is how passion demands tribute, how the hours fall away, and how we lose everything to find ourselves.

If there’s one thing you remember, let it be this: no fight, however beautiful, asks for permission; no promise ever asks for forgiveness; and no true kiss is anything less than madness.

Tell me: how ready are you to tape up your hands? How beautiful are your violets at daybreak?

Categories: prose poem
  1. February 15, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    I fear that taking care of a multitude of flowers may lead to disastrous results; there is uncertainty on whether I’ve gained my mother’s green thumb. There is no violets for this guy.

    The hands are taped. I’m sitting in the corner, waiting for the bell to ring.

    • February 17, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      The trick with the violets is they’re already cut. So, no extra harm will come to them. *grin* (Seriously, though, I am rotten at keeping plants; I’ve brutally murdered every basil plant I’ve ever tried to keep.)

      My hands are taped, too. I’ve never been very good at not hurling myself into the fray. Thank you so much for reading and commenting — it means a lot. 🙂

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