Liberty Price

The Cliché of Red Roses

In which you are a bouquet of red roses:
Trimmed so no thorns mar her hands. 

You’re in the desperate clutches of a woman 
Who’s never held stems as tightly before –
And never wants to again, since
When they wither and dry and curl at the edges, 
It will hurt as much as appendicitis.

She will howl until you’re removed
Under the guise of betterment…
And her surgery scar?
Will remain
Longer than your scent.


When I found it, the mildew
Had already pervaded 
The wooden beams of the thing,
Turning the walls fuzzy with moss.
It was an old playhouse, or a hideout,
Or a castle, or a kitchen – 
Whatever it was belonged to the woods now.

A ragged old flag,
Presumedly once blue
Had surrendered almost completely, but still flapped.
The ladder had broken in three places,
And the windows were dark with grime –
But the faraway cries of pirates and cowboys
Echoes through the rafters.


She loves you even if she 
Overfills the hot water bottle,
Sending scalding droplets
Directly washing over your sensitive fingertips,
And the smell of warm rubber coats everything – 

She loves you especially if
The burnt edges of your surprise breakfast
Fill the kitchen with smoke and
Your throat gets scratched by cat claws
Of cloying crumbs that catch:

She loves you when the bath
She ran for you and filled with soap
Is too hot and too full and
Too bubbly and too fragrant
And too unwelcoming.

Liberty Price is a Creative Writing student at the University of Lincoln. She enjoys exploring nature and cycling; but most of all, reading and writing (in equal measure!) At the moment, she’s probably looking up the meanings of long words or thinking of a new story plot. She has previously been published in Spellbinder Magazine and Visual Verse with others in the works!

You can find her on Twitter: @LibertyPrice15 or Instagram @libertymprice.

Flights, Issue Six, September 2022