Lady of Flowers

By Catt Kingsgrave


In a clan of great magicians, in a tribe of petty fools

A brother and a sister used their children as their tools

The one to curse, the other, cure, then curse in full return.

And in this kindly circumstance, a maid of flowers was born


A creature born of magic and of blossoms wild and free

(Though free was what my maker never meant for me to be)

He made me as a triumph, as a treasure, as a wife

And meaning all the while his favorite son should own my life.

            Oh I remember meadowsweet, and I remember broom

            And I remember heather bells in fragrant purple bloom.

            The roses of the summer, and the lilies of the spring

            Are all that’s left of innocence, a broken, precious thing.


At first I cared but little, as children often do;

My home was very pretty and my wants were very few

T’was only when I learnt that other people had a choice

That a tiny pain within found a name, and then a voice.


And when that voice drew notice, could I hope to understand

That a woman’s greatest freedoms still must answer to a man?

My lover bade me kill him; use my wiles to learn the way

To slip my shackles free.  And thus, I learned how to betray.

            Oh I remember columbine and crocus trim and neat

            And clover like a carpet spreading thick beneath my feet

            I remember treachery and sweetly gilded lies

            And blood more red than roses flowing fast before my eyes.


Abandoned by my lover, who fled across the bourne,

I fled myself, my innocence and husband for to mourn

And when the mage who made me came, no mercy lit his eyes.

He spoke only of treachery, and scheming women’s lies.


Perhaps his rage lay somewhat in the grieving for his son;

I think the larger portion was I’d robbed him of a pawn.

Still, a crime had been committed, and a price had to be paid

And soon a bird of curses flew where was the flower maid.

            Oh I remember violet, and poppies red as blood

            And terror as I fled from all I’d never understood

            I asked him for no mercy, and no mercy did he show.

            On silent wings, in silent tears I fled the earth below.


Thus I became the night bird, and took to silent wing

Bearing censure for the crime of being person more than thing.

I live apart, alone, yet still hear men denounce my name;

A painful sort of freedom, but it’s freedom all the same.


Thus I am cursed to hunt the night where flowers do not bloom

An eerie, bitter omen in the midnight forest’s gloom.

And though my wings are silent, you may hear my keening cry,

But listen very closely, for I ask not “who,” but “Why?”