“Misting” by George Bilgere

George Bilgere


is the one thing involving flowers
I’m reasonably good at. Daybreak
finds me in the yard with my hose,
attentive as a bee. What a pleasure
to choose “Mist” on my watering gun
and drift like a cloud above the roses.
Last month my sister died, a storm
of lightning in her brain. And now
this news that someone who once
was the object of all my bouquets
is spending her final summer.
Each day brings more bad weather,
which is another way of saying
I’m in my sixties. But here, in the frail
September morning, my hand tipped in fog,
the flowers lift their faces to me
with bright, mystifying questions,
and for once I have an answer.

from Cheap Motels of My Youth
2023 Rattle Chapbook Prize Winner


George Bilgere: “When I was eight years old my parents got divorced. My mother packed her three kids into an old Chevy station wagon and drove us from St. Louis to Riverside, California, looking for a fresh start. She had visited there when she was an Army nurse stationed in LA during the war and fell in love with the place. That cross-country car trip, full of cheap diners, cheap hotels, and desperation, changed my life. I fell in love with the vastness and beauty, the glamor and tawdriness, of America. I’ve travelled all over the country since then, on that ancient and deeply American quest, the search for home.” (web)

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