Wild Roses

Wild Roses

rosa-canina-2

There was a stand of wild roses
thriving by the edge
of the marsh, entwined with greenbrier
and periwinkle someone had planted somewhere, years ago.
Growing in the mulberry’s shade,
just a step away from the bull rushes and brackish mud.

Parts of my life are caught
in the thorns of those wild roses.
The drops of blood
pricked from my small fingers
as I pulled blooms for my mother
who soon enough left for a new life, husband, kids
as the petals fells one by one
drying on the kitchen counter,
tiny, desiccated curls crumbling,
then swept away by the indifferent
housekeeper’s hand.
The one time I dug three of the canes,
planted them in compost filled pots,
tended them for three years before
leaving town for ten days in August.
My husband forgot to water them. They dried up,
died of thirst. I am still bereft.

One Spring morning, several years ago,
I looked out across the pecan orchards,
toward the edge of the marsh where the rushes
met the roses among the holly and sassafras saplings,
and there was nothing, or nearly nothing there.
Father had hired a man to clean things up,
to tidy the ragged mess of life growing there.
The shoreline, rolling down into the marsh
had been chopped and cut and carted off for burning.
The wild roses were gone.

I’ve waited years now
going each Spring to look
for one tiny leaf to poke her
soft head through. As if
the resurrection of these roses
were a direct indicator
of the resurrection of all
that is feminine and wild and Divine.
So I wait, expectant, kneeling, with my arms stretched before me,
my palms face down and hot,
the soft animal of my body praying, praying, praying,
praying those wild roses back into existance
back into thriving and thorny bloom.

Be, December, 2017

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