A rose is adored when in bloom,

encouraged when unfolding,

            welcomed when a bud,

                        and rejected when she wilts.


We admire her beauty

and bask in her sweet scent,

but we forget that she is mortal.


My mother was born a rose.

Growing up, at times

her thorns would prick me

and I’d feel pain, if only for a matter of seconds,

before she’d pick me up and I’d feel

the softness of her petals once again.


In present time, regardless of her perfume,

she carries a sweet scent about her,

            a flower always in bloom.


My mother is not an athlete,

but she stands tall and graceful,

            a ballerina always ready to perform.


My mother is a rose and I forgot of her mortality.


I have not witnessed roses

engaging in cannibalism,


                        weathering themselves away,

and yet, my Mother’s body is at war

with itself; her very beauty

the source of her pain:

            my mother is wilting.


The kitchen counter lies covered in medical bills,

            pink ribbons coat health booklets,

                        the question of everyday is

                        what did the doctor say?


She visits the doctor

more often than work

and when I ask how she’s feeling,

she responds she’s okay,

            but I recognize the fear in her eyes:

            she doesn’t know….

            Nobody knows what will happen.


My rose lived a strong and healthy life,

but roses are only mortal in their season

and begin to decay.

Now it is my turn to go the garden

and tend my flower.


This year has brought me pain

and rains of salt, but it has also

 returned my green thumb:

I develop a closer bond with my mother each day

and together I plan to nourish her stem,

so that one day I’ll go to my garden

and forget there was a time when she did not bloom.




This poem is about: 
My family


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