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.