The Loveless Rose

When I was little, my father used to grow a rose garden just to the side of our house. Every spring and summer, when the roses bloomed, he’d always cut some of the blossoms and bring them into our home. Sometimes, he’d give them to me, as a present, while other times, he’d put them in a glass vase in the living room, just for decoration. I noticed that after a week or so, however, the roses would start to wilt, so he’d take them and toss them away.

One day, when he’d given yet another rose to me, I put it in a glass vase, as he always did, set it my room, I waited. Each day I waited again and again and again, waiting to see when it’d wilt, when its beauty started to fail, when its thorns began to sharpen. I didn’t notice anything until the first petal fell, and by then, only a withered blossom remained in my sight.

My father, of course, told me to throw it out. But as I did, I couldn’t help but wonder how I managed to miss it. I kept asking myself over and over how blinded I was, to miss just a missing flower.

Just as I was nearing the trash can, I couldn’t help but stare at it a bit more. There was a clean cut toward the bottom of the long stem, which was coated with tiny thorns. The glass vase always drew the evening light toward the rose, though in the end, it still cast a shadow, just like every object in this world. It was then I realized that, perhaps this tiny little rose was watching me, just as I was watching it. Perhaps it wasn’t alive, since my father cut it from his garden. Maybe it was nothing more than a corpse, staring back up at me. But in the end, I still could not shake off the feeling that it was watching me, watching the world go by. And as time went on, the more its beauty faded, the more it watched.


by everlasting pride,
while shimmering in a field of tainted light.

by twisted thorns,
as shadows draw within the quiet, so forlorn.

yet false,
by the sins that they’ve seen,
the shallow beauty coursing from within.

But fragile,
and silent,
as it watches the world drift by,
the withered blossom falling away with a sigh.

By Robin Goodfellow

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