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The Golden Rose

"How weary it must be of remaining in full bloom"

Published onApr 28, 2024
The Golden Rose

Photo by Mark Schulte:

(Cluny Museum, Paris)

How weary it must be
of remaining in full bloom
for eight centuries, perfectly
erect on its thornless stem.
What if it it should yield
to the blandishments of decay
one day and begin to drop its petals,
first the wide outer rows,
then the middle layers,
delicate as eyelids,
and the smallest, falling
with a soft cry of release
into the glittering dust
before astonished onlookers,
only the cool sapphire
of the heart untouched.

Ruth Holzer is the author of eight chapbooks, most recently "Home and Away" (dancing girl press) "Living in Laconia" (Gyroscope Press) and "Among the Missing” (Kelsay Books).  Her poems have appeared in Southern Poetry Review, Blue Unicorn, Slant, Poet Lore and Freshwater among other journals and anthologies. She has received several Pushcart Prize nominations. 

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