Funeral Bouquet

When I lay the roses
on the table,
she looked uncomfortable.

“That’s the first time
anyone’s ever gotten me flowers,”
she said,
not knowing what to do
or how to react.

Being young and dumb,
I’d broken an unwritten rule.
She wasn’t the type of girl
you bought flowers,
and she knew that.

It was barely a few weeks later,
when I put her on a bus to St. Louis,
that I felt foolish for the flowers.
There were reasons
I was the first.

I wish there was a happy ending,
but she got hooked on heroin
and is in prison right now.

No one will make that mistake again,
no matter how much she wants it.

-GD Butler