ROSES AND THORNS
Our neighbor died as winter ended.
Across the street from the rose bush,
rich with blooms, is a new for-sale sign,
and grass that needs cutting.
His wife died almost ten years ago,
and my father, not long after.
He and Mother, as their health
would permit, would date, from time to time.
It was always a relief to see her,
once again, with a luster of girlish sparkle.
The order of our going is painful,
as is ever our renewal.
I must remember, the roses,
with their wild pink excess
of springtime glory,
got that way because
of another lady, last fall,
up to her elbows in thorns,
who cut the bush back, way back,
leaving a thorn field of debris,
removed with delicate care,
in preparation for this moment,
and others, of fair appreciation,
when renewal breaks with fresh color,
beyond the hurt and fade,
into a clarity of light and hope,
cultivated, that it still may be rising.