Natalie Young

The Mums Are Always Dying



                                            We’re gonna do it easy, but then we’re gonna do the finish rough.
                                                                                   —Tina Turner’s intro to “Proud Mary”

Holding out a bundle of mums
from the grocery store
to offset a bad day,

She tells the alien how hard it is
to remember everything, every day to do
every thing, how proud she feels

to have shopped and gathered
so much, saved
dollars with coupons and sales.

      Why bother with it all?
      I can fix your trouble. I know how
      to make a run for it. Metal cart flying

      out automatic doors—we could get far
      away—take off and live without
      the ground.

Days later, the petals start to wilt, giant puffs
in a droop. She decides and says
Tina Turner’s head looks like an aging mum.

      My kind, your kind… we all look
      like one dying flower
      or another.

Natalie Young

Natalie Young is a founding editor of the poetry magazine Sugar House Review. By day, she works as an art director for an ad agency based out of Salt Lake City. Recent publications include Green Mountains Review, Tampa Review, Rattle, South Dakota Review, Los Angeles Times, Tar River Poetry, and others. Natalie is left-handed, half Puerto Rican, and a fan of Tom Selleck and Swiss cheese. Her website is