Just Because

Turning the corner, I see a kid.
He’s maybe seventeen, nineteen

walking down the sidewalk carrying a bouquet.
They could be for anyone, those flowers,

but I want them to be for his mother.
I want them waiting in a glass vase

on the table when she comes home from work,
a bright orange and purple surprise

lighting up the kitchen just because
she’s a good mom and he’s a good son.

I think she’ll set her purse on the chair,
lean against the faded yellow wall

and wipe away tears with her fingertips,
and for a moment he’ll stare at a spot

on the floor and wish he’d done nothing at all,
but she’ll pull him close with her arm

around his shoulder just long enough to say,
“Thank you,” before she lets go.

Victoria Melekian lives in Carlsbad, California. Her stories and poems have been published in Mudfish, Literary Orphans, Atlanta Review, Valparaiso Fiction Review, Word Riot, and other anthologies. She’s been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was a runner-up in the 2018 Bath Flash Fiction Novella-in-Flash Award. Her story “What I Don’t Tell Him” aired on NPR. She’s twice won a San Diego Book Award. For more, visit http://www.victoriamelekian.com.

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