Flow Blue China
No real flowers would give of themselves
as these do, the soft tips of their petals
easing out under the painted gold borders,
then bleeding into puffs of blue, and the aunt
who in her old age gave me these cups
and saucers, the plates, bread plates and platters,
the gravy boat, and the big covered bowl
that for seventy years she brought to her table
heaped high with buttercup potatoes,
she too, like one of these soft blue flowers,
has slipped beyond the thin line at the edge.
I lift this cup to her. Flow, blue.
Ted Kooser, Poet Laureate of the United States from Delights & Shadows Published by Copper Canyon Press