Friday, June 27, 2008

A step outside

While heading out to pull a few weeds this evening, I noticed the roses.

Here is their story:

When What Lives Will Thrive

The wedding roses open, a scarlet
snarl of petals ruffling in a stiff breeze—
reminder this terra cotta pot
once held standard forms, made to look like trees,
white flowers grafted onto stronger stock.
That unblemished cultivar did not last,
succumbed to the usual troubles—black
spot, powdery mildew, aphids, and rust—
but below, the root began to burgeon.
New shoots appeared, a tender green advance.
Years after that hot August afternoon,
we abandoned our plans for elegance—
and even white—found our own way to wear
the years, let the roses be what they are.

"When What Lives Will Thrive" previously appeared in Limbs of the Pine, Peaks of the Range.


K. said...

Very nice. Love the opening.

I invite you to read my blog today:

K. said...

Have you ever read Walter Scott's "Lochinvar"? It has a great first line--

O young Lochinvar is come out of the west

--but unlike your poem here, the remainder barely meets the standards of doggerel. Nonetheless, for years English school children were forced to memorize it.

Joannie said...

Oh, Mercy! Talk about harsh! I read your excerpt of Keats's publishers' comments. And juxtaposed against such poems. I want to read each of them over and over.

I haven't read "Lochinvar," but I'll look it up.

K. said...

Take my word for it: The best line (by far) from Lochinvar is in my post above. Unless your taste runs to stuff like "So faithful in love and so dauntless in war/There never was knight like the young Lochinvar."

The Keats on the other hand...genius.