Flower Children

by  Nancy Byrne Iannucci


Freedom, freedom
Freedom, freedom
Freedom, freedom
Freedom, freedom
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
A long way from my home
—Richie Havens


The flowers died
on my banana seat
a long time ago,
the bike’s still in my parents’
garage, which I haven’t
stepped foot in since
the Ides of March,

it took a long time for those
flowers to wither. I noticed
it first in the 90s, the colors
started to fade, kids
were wearing helmets,
high on Ritalin,
then came the rust,

it spread like a virus.
Lemonade stands closed,
street corners emptied,
cool kids left the bleachers,
John Hughes was misunderstood,
and no one knew the movie,
Over the Edge.

A mask has been added
to their armor–I saw
one on a little girl today.
She was sitting on a
bike with no flowers,
pedaling wildly
away from freedom.



Nancy Byrne Iannucci is the author of Temptation of Wood (Nixes Mate Review 2018) and Toxic, which will be released in 2020 (dancing girl press). Her poems have appeared in publications including Gargoyle, Ghost City Press, Clementine Unbound, Three Drops from a Cauldron, 8 Poems, Glass: A Journal of Poetry (Poets Resist), Hobo Camp Review, and Typehouse Literary Magazine. Nancy resides in Troy, NY where she teaches history at the Emma Willard School. Bill Mazza is a visual artist using chance, duration, and accumulation to reinterpret landscape as a relationship of people to their mediated environments, through painting, performance, and community-building collaborations.