Pinned to my blouse
a birthday corsage
cousin Renee made
just for me

the best part
wearing it to school
a gift box ribbon
fluffy and round

like a bouquet,
each year different kinds
small candy pieces
hanging down

seven tootsie rolls
eight life savers
nine Hershey kisses
ten Bazooka bubblegums

made me feel important
when all the girls
would fuss around me
asking for a piece

but it was too vital, too pretty
to break apart—so I’d wear it
all day, very sure to eek out
every drop of special.