Lorraine Whelan

The Bouquet’s Last Days

The brown is subtle at first
quiet as it tinges the rims
then grows as it permeates the petals
turning the intensity of a sunshine yellow
to a pale and dreary beige.

The stems also look dreary.
Almost translucent in their drenched state,
there is a pale fuzz of mould on their surface.
The water is cloudy and dank.
It has been in the vase too long
and is still.

Eventually the dry petals drop.
Spread on the table below,
they leave marks of dull orange.
a fine powder from useless stamen.

An odour begins to emanate from the vase:
the murk of water mixing
with the mouldy stems
leaks into the surrounding air,
no longer contained.

The bouquet will find its way
to the compost bin
and the water will find its way
to the sea.



Lorraine Whelan is a visual artist and writer based in Bray, Co. Wicklow.

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