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Red Tulips

Carrie Richards Avatar Carrie Richards - LIFETIME Premium Member Carrie Richards - Premium MemberPremium Member Send Soup Mail Go to Poets Blog Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled Red Tulips which was written by poet Carrie Richards. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Red Tulips

Under a tree of wet blossoms, shimmering to life in the sun, one honey bee is circling around two burly men, who wave it off,  with childlike dramatics...arms flailing.   One of them, wearing heavy leather boots, leaves his deep imprints in the grass, still wet from yesterday's storm.  I wince, as the toe of his left boot squashes a purple pansy that is growing along the border. Oh dear, her prized flowers,....they are like her babies!  She has always had the greenest, thumb..and the prettiest yard on the block!
a white blossom                         rush hour traffic...              a crushed pansy
lands on her shoulder....          bees circle the tree            still beautiful in my palm...
a goodbye gesture                     droning with noise              lines in her face

 Both men seem irritated, and anxious to get on the road, as they stand next to the giant truck, which is parked against the curb. The shorter man, nurtures a butt of a cigarette between gloved fingers with such intensity, it's as if he were sentenced to be hanged at noon, and this was a final puff.  He inhales deeply, then, after a careless toss of the stub,  they both climb aboard, into the cab, and squeeze their husky frames into the cab, like two coiled Slinkys , ready to spring into action.   They start up the engine, and trails of cigarette smoke are left to mingle with cloud-white petals, that drift from the tree.

smoke spirals up         from a spent cigarette......    truck coughs black exhaust

two nosy neighbors     watch from dark windows.... crows gather on grapevine

The moving van,... a huge, battered dinosaur, wearing a big red proclamation, "TWO BROTHERS-VAN AND STORAGE",...  looks so out of place, parked along my street. I begin to feel it vibrate the sidewalk and it deafens our ears.  Slowly, it begins to roll, and we watch, as it lazily, lumbers down the familiar street.  It turns the corner, and disappears out of sight. I lean over to grab her hand, and she is crying  
and I find myself breaking the promise not to.

muddy truck tires....                                                                     
parallel stripes                      
follow from behind                   

I suppose it shouldn't matter to me now, but can't resist, and lean down to pick up the discarded, lifeless cigarette butt, and walk it over next door, to the trash can,  that still waits for Thursday's pick-up.  I blow my nose and dry my eyes.  It won't help her, if she sees me fall apart.

I remember the day she moved in, over twenty years ago.  
We were strangers then, ...but sisters we became.
Now it seems all those years are packaged up inside those cardboard boxes, wrapped in newsprint, taped shut, now moving on to another state,  to somewhere I don't belong.
Her husband gently clears his throat, as he patiently waits by their car,  giving her one last moment.
Her eyes glisten with tears.  Mine sting too...but I had promised I wouldn't I am biting my bottom lip. A quick hug..   "Yes...we'll write...we'll visit...we'll call!   
Soon!   I promise,.........soon!"
She hands me a box of tulip bulbs.  "These are the red ones... the ones you loved so much, something to remember me by."...  I want to plant some in the new place, but have been saving some for you too"...
"Next year when they bloom, think of me, will you? A part of me to keep you company."
She walks to her packed car, turns once more with that familiar smile, the same little wave, that she gave me on that very first morning, as she stood at her mailbox.  She jumps in next to her waiting husband. He starts the engine, and soon their car is heading down the street, that is no longer her street. Around the turn at the corner, that is no longer her corner
    Tomorrow the SOLD sign comes down.  
Perhaps a new wave, another smile, someone gathering mail ...will brighten my day.          
But today, .....I will plant some tulips.

my garden awakes                                         coffee brings comfort
from muddy slumber....                              sipped from her favorite cup ... 
 lively red tulips                                                 my cat for company

For Deb's Contest: Spring haibun

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  1. Date: 3/7/2013 3:55:00 PM
    !!! Congrats on your great win..Sara

  1. Date: 3/7/2013 7:10:00 AM
    This is extremely moving, Carrie. I just love your style of prose, and your haiku complement it perfectly. Wonderful job! Congratulations :)

  1. Date: 3/7/2013 7:04:00 AM
    This is beyond beautiful, simply awesome a write Carrie! One of the very best. Congrats on the most deserved win!

  1. Date: 3/6/2013 7:40:00 PM
    Warmest congratulations on your very fine win, dear Carrie. Though it is sad the beauty still shines! Love, Annalise

  1. Date: 3/6/2013 4:26:00 PM
    oh my this one is a sad one. And something that happens to so many of us in our lifetime, moving away from those we have grown close to. VEry unique with its interesting formatting. BIG congrats to you.

  1. Date: 3/6/2013 3:11:00 PM
    Carrie you put a lot of work in this poem. An excellent write. Congrats on your win. Warm Smiles, Connie

  1. Date: 3/6/2013 11:43:00 AM
    This just broke my heart...what a wonderful heartfelt write and love the haiku !! Congrats on a well deserved win !!

  1. Date: 3/6/2013 7:18:00 AM
    Always love your writes Carrie--wow, what a lot of work here--and a rewarding read.

  1. Date: 3/5/2013 9:40:00 PM
    Carrie, ;-) Congratulations with your nice winning poem in Debbie's "Spring haibun" contest... xox~LINDA

  1. Date: 3/5/2013 7:04:00 PM
    GREAT story telling as always Congrad's on your win. Light & Love

  1. Date: 2/15/2013 12:20:00 PM
    Rather a sad story, yet the expectation of a new person and the flowers planted give it a subtle air of hope. Your truck drivers came to life awesomely. Shooing the bees was a good contrast to the melancholy. The whole thing is becoming a masterpiece.

  1. Date: 2/13/2013 10:56:00 AM
    I can see that my Haiku-tutor has been giving you directions...and Im jealous! She is MY haiku tutor! : ) I dont know why I can NOT find the "magic" in this form. Anyways, your haiku are fantastic! Im serious! Excellent job, Carrie!

  1. Date: 2/12/2013 6:56:00 PM
    #2's Ok now ;) & #6 OK..keep feeling! ;) Light & Love

  1. Date: 2/12/2013 6:57:00 AM
    Ahh a new nickname Doobie LOL, Romper Room yes that was my era and yes I am a Do Bee! ;) well I could write back and forth to you for ages on your haiku please send them to me so you can get started remember /for me/..the simile or metaphor must be implied, so the written content must be factual objective ex: if there really was no confetti on the walk line saying there was in the haiku that was in your mind in your imagination.

    Guzzi Avatar Debbie Guzzi
    Date: 2/12/2013 6:59:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    haiku for me is about communicating a feeling not a thought, you want the reader to feel what you felt, not think what you thought
  1. Date: 2/11/2013 11:45:00 PM
    Carrie, well done with this haibun -- quite exceptional. I am impressed by the fresh layout, including the one-line-haiku(which some people might ?wrongly? label as a monoku? I almost can't keep up with the different forms, or the varying ithereof. Maybe this is why I enjoy my Triceratops so much). Yes, original formatting to go along with the bitter-sweet, yet prevailingly uplifting story. I hope Doobie enjoys this haibun as much as I do.

  1. Date: 2/11/2013 8:16:00 PM
    Hello Carrie, i like the way you planted the thoughts of seeds.. A nice heartfelt story.. good luck in the contest... LINDA