by Kerry Trautman

I saved one rose-worth of petals
from my grandmother’s funeral

arrangement, dried them between sheets
of wax paper, pressed in an atlas.

aging dim red like scabs. They
seem something to be saved,

but also best forgotten.
I could tuck them in

the flannel lining of a sleeping
bag, toss in restless sleep

beneath her UP’s Aurora Borealis.
Or slip them in my glovebox,

smuggle them across
the Rainbow Bridge to Canada, toss

them out the window into raging
Horseshoe Falls—let them make

their own luck. I could crush
and brew them into

tea, dip dye my baptism dress,
wring the excess

into a thermos, spike
it with brandy, for a walk

in her winter pine woods
at dawn. There would

be cold cold air
there. There

would be the whisper of
starlight through needles

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