June goes gaudy with bad boutonnieres— flamingo mimosas, the giant magnolia's bowl of petals. Let us consider the man not welcome at the wedding. What's the etiquette for the bad father? What's the right flower for the ignored- with-good-reason, the uninvited? A hydrangea, head wide as a cabbage; or the bull thistle wild along the roads; or a dandelion, only a stalk stuck to his lapel by the time he insists on their dance? He is a sad weed himself, this man who has no daughter but tries to hold her.
From A Little Salvation: Poems Old and New by Judson Mitcham. Copyright © 2007 by Judson Mitcham. Reprinted with permission of the University of Georgia Press.