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6.05.2009

roses

I trim the roses like a vampire.
First I kiss their petals,
then I ask permission.
With their last beauty, they thank me.
Then, gripping with a care for thorns
I graze the blade below the head down the stem,
looking for the bud of the bud.
then snip.
click. and toss into the pile.
Today I asked a rose,
and she said no. Not yet.
Her petals were browning
and her center was falling
beneath its own weight,
yet, the dignity of death is in the love of life,
the last clinging,
the 'I think not,' regardless of state,
drinking in breath and the smell of the earth,
the tiny patter of aphids.
The reaper, not grim but gracious,
gives her a kiss, smiles at her certainty,
then walks away -
the smooth of her petals
still on my lips.
I'll come again soon enough.

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