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Fresh for 24 hours


The Halloween design
made me choose it: cantaloupe pumpkins
pineapple haystacks, coconut ghosts —
an edible bouquet.
Guaranteed fresh for 24 hours, the ad boasted
just right for the afternoon shift
in the delivery room at the far end
of the hall, late night nurses
who whispered, knowing how quietly labor would end
the morning shift who cried.
No rush leaving.

Flowers wouldn’t do. Fruit
a perfect gift, so ripe
juice bursting with each bite
like a promise