Teacup of the Rose
The rose is painted red. There is no other
teacup of the rose unbroken. I bring it to my mother.
Mother cries, for her mother's rose garden
once tended with love. When Mother sleeps, please pardon:
she is an orphan now. Her father, long of the sea, mute;
or could not say, I love you. Cold hands shall not refute
the strike of a match. Her mother and father's ashes
this day scattered. Teacup of the rose; moist lashes.
The rose: Blossom Time, Happenstance; Alchemist, First Crush—
Moonlight, Awakening; New Dawn, Gold Blush—
Yellow Butterfly, Compassion; Quietness, Sea Breeze—
and the rose of her mother's name—Margaret. If you please,
a shelf of mysteries, thorny as any rose; and blood rows
of family photographs, framed. Petal conscious, Mother knows
the perfume of cut roses in a vase, and the five pinnate leaves
of a secret—to be under the rose. A rose window weaves
a wheel of sunlight; beyond, the card of a mariner's
compass is called a rose. Navigating imagined silk, secateurs
cut the bush back hard at the last frost. A rosedrop of blood.
May this ward away the grief of the rose beetle. For rosebud.
Mother brings the teacup to her lips, a red rose
painted upon each cheek. It is my love for her, I suppose.