There are three that I recall,
and the Rafflesia,
Let me elaborate.
The santan flower was my childhood.
Clusters of their orange-red,
Clusters of their orange-red, and sometimes pink
Clusters of their orange-red, and sometimes pink or yellow,
Clusters of their orange-red, and sometimes pink or yellow, grew in bursts all year round.
The neighbourhood kids and I would take these bunches,
and sip the sweet drops of nectar from their stems.
We'd also make little chains with them--
For necklaces and bracelets.
Exchanging them, Though they broke quite easily
Replacing them, again and again,
A pledge of love.
On the topic of the chains, there's the sampaguita.
It's the national flower of our country.
Every Sunday, without fail, there'd be vendors outside the church,
They'd sell garlands of these white flowers,
and we'd hang them on our car mirrors.
They smell really pure, not sweet, but more clean and clear,
'Til they dried.
The last is the rafflesia. It grew in the grounds near my elementary school.
This giant, it smelled repulsive, like rotting meat.
Our teacher said it was like that to draw the flies to it,
So it could trap them
and eat them.
The kids deemed it a witch's flower,
but I kind of sympathized.
With both the flowers and the flies.
It's not like they could help it...
And now that I look back, I know that there were many more,
My time was mostly spent outdoors, after all...
But these specific three---they stuck with me
The childhood clarity, the hanging of purity, and the rashness of empathy
I brought them all.
I brought them all. I bear them all.
I brought them all. I bear them all. And all will stay.