Japanese Paper Flowers
Scarred by terrible attention
and neglect, her brilliant
head refused at school because unkempt
and then unkempt because
refused, how could she but
improve the feats that proved
her to the world, the stubble
of the wheat fields only she could run
across with bare feet, laughing,
and, for once, unscarred?
So much for the world.
But for herself she saved
all earned and unearned pennies
for the tiny stones with string
and paper wrapped around
in magic that dissolved, soaked up
all dreams in water, and then raised
the fragile spectacle, laced
sacredness of pastel, sometimes
violent red rims,
or blue, unfolding all
the beauty that she could afford
to call her own.