the one I folded out of a five-year-
old piece of computer paper, crafted
mostly during a Sunday morning Zoom
workshop, the very first I’ve ever made.
I filled it with affirmations, encouragements
for personal reflection: Working on yourself
is a radical act. Your growth is a precious
process. You are beautiful, valuable, valued.
Inside were roses, daisies, sunflowers, snapdragons
drawn with pens, markers, highlighters in pastel
purple, electric blue raspberry, accountant’s
eyeshade green, the whole of it titled bloom.
When I showed him the booklet, he swiveled
in his chair, away from dual screens to read, flip it
over, smile up at and thank me before setting it
on his desk, assigning it to prominent display.
I’d say I didn’t have the heart to tell him he
was not the intended recipient, but I realize
now that’s not even half true — that man
also deserves, has every right to bloom.