Wedding Flowers

I gave the florist clear instructions
My wedding bouquet was to include
White roses — I am worthy of you
Blue carnations — yes, no, maybe?
White daisies — innocence

The perfect bouquet
To greet the guests
To adorn the altar

Alas, she got it wrong
Or maybe she was right
Instead of my favorite white daisies —
. . . . .The flowers of the first bouquet
. . . . .my love had ever given me —
My eyes were assaulted
By orange marigolds — despair, grief

Perhaps they were prophetic
Of the despair and grief
Lingering in my soul
Destined to mar many years
Of our otherwise perfect union

Perhaps they were merely
A florist’s mistake


I missed the Poetics prompt at dVerse Poets Pub on Tuesday dealing with flowers and their meanings. But when I read the list of flowers I was struck by the meanings of two in particular — the daisy and the marigold. It reminded me of my wedding day. Since I missed linking to that prompt, I’m sharing this for Open Link Night today instead.

About Linda Kruschke

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.
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31 Responses to Wedding Flowers

  1. Oh, the uncanny belief in its significance can make it horrid if we imagine our future relying on that. And the doubt lingers on. Well-penned.

  2. annell4 says:

    Perhaps it wasn’t a mistake? A mystery not to be solved.

  3. Ayala says:

    I hope it was a florist mistake. Sad .

  4. I’m really glad you could use the prompt. I was surprised marigolds had such a negative meaning, I must admit. I like this poem very much. The last lines make me think that the writer is shaking free of something negative.

  5. orange marigolds— an odious error

  6. rothpoetry says:

    Your poem is a story in motion. Flowers to illustrate the whole story! They say everything happens for a reason. Perhaps your florist did get it right afterall!

  7. in different cultures, marigolds are used to celebrate marriage – and so, of course, it all depends on where one sits …. kind of like in cultures where wearing white is traditional for death and funerals … so in the end, I suppose, apart from perhaps a “clashing of colours” – then maybe, it really is what we make of it?

    I really like how you’ve written this poem – and how you’ve managed to really capture the element of surprise at the “unwanted” discovery! And if all ends wells? Then a memory that now somehow, is part of the love story.

    • Thanks. It took me many years to be “okay” with marigolds even in my yard. But now I love them, though I prefer the red and yellow to the orange variety. 😉

      • LOL – I can understand, in some ways – people have a love/hate affair with marigolds for some reason, even if not because of something like you’ve poemed. But then, I suppose, this could be said of most plants/flowers anyhow. And well, they are good plants to have around, help keep certain pesky pests away. 🙂

  8. Frank Hubeny says:

    I didn’t realize getting those bouquets right mattered so much until I read this prompt. Hopefully it was just a florist’s mistake.

  9. A poignant and piercing write! Who knew how prophetic a floral arrangement could be?

  10. Those last two lines wrap this up perfectly.

  11. Glenn Buttkus says:

    You rocked the prompt, mastering the language of flowers sublimely. It seems that some of the gang did not participate in Kim’s challenge on Tuesday. I really enjoyed the dip into Victorian Romanticism.

    • I’ve had a hard time participating lately because I haven’t had the time to also read other poems, and I’m not comfortable linking and not reading. But that prompt spoke to me. 🙂

  12. Tee hee. Maybe I was your florist. I would LOVE orange marigolds in my wedding bouquet. 🙂

    I very much enjoyed your poem.

  13. Jo says:

    Your poem is wonderful! I hope the florist made a mistake with our bouquet!

  14. I didn’t know marigolds represented despair and grief. You have a way with words and this writing is deeply heartfelt.

  15. Tranature - quiet moments in nature says:

    I too hope it was a florist’s mistake. Marigolds have so many different meanings depending on the country and culture – they often symbolise passion and creativity.

  16. sanaarizvi says:

    This is so poignant… I had no idea orange marigolds signify despair and grief..

  17. I’m surprised to hear marigolds mean despair and grief. They’re great flowers for healing all sorts of inflammations. I too hope it was only a florist’s mistake.

  18. kim881 says:

    I enjoyed your true story of the wrong/right bouquet, Linda!

  19. I love where you took this prompt… I sincerely hope that it was a florist mistake…

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