I really identify with this poem, and not just because peonies are my favorite flower. Click on the title to find the magazine and issue in which I found the poem. Click on the author's name to read more from the poetess.
Prudes Don't Grow Peonies
The only thing I ever saw my mother grow
were peonies. Extravagant red and pink
flowers on long legs she watered and weeded.
She never fooled me with her line
about sex not being fun after the first time.
Even in my tomboy days, I knew better.
Because her peonies told me.
Lush, feathery show girls
strutting and opening,
as in sex appeal,
is half the fun.
In one hand she held dry booklets,
in the other, a bouquet of frothy blooms.
The deck was stacked against her.
I don't remember a word of the pamphlets
but crimson blooms inside my head
burst open when pleasure wins.
-- Gwynne O'Gara
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