The Preservation of Flowers


Between the cab firm and the chicken shop
the pavement cracked and a flower stall sprang up,
the city’s special offer to the passer by.
It stocks every colour flower except grey
twenty-four seven blossom, the odds on bees,
and a sign which says You Can Smell The Flowers for Free.
It checks the street. Those who used to hurry
are slowed, and sold on bouquets of gorgeous and sorry.
They pick the florist too. He’s a bunch
of bluebell eyes and blooming sales pitch,
daisy grin and hip-slung money belt,
lily pollen brushed across his shirt.
Certain customers, he slips an extra rose
in the dozen; to certain customers he says
‘Angel – if you want them to last a little bit longer
try adding a teaspoon of sugar to the water.’

unpublished poem, © Julia Bird 2009, used by permission of the author

Julia Bird in the Poetry Store

The free tracks you can enjoy in the Poetry Archive are a selection of a poet’s work. Our catalogue store includes many more recordings which you can download to your device.

Featured in the archive