It was a simple, pale pink rose, picked
in the public play park, presented with an elaborate,
self-mocking bow that didn’t quite hide
his shy sincerity.
The grumpy groundsman
hid a smile behind his hand, and shaking his head,
he ignored the small theft.
We strutted back to the street,
believing our love to be almost unseen,
even as our bodies screamed secrets to limping septuagenarians
who paused to recall the feel of vintage kisses in dim,
Each night, my lips caressed the rose,
its petals soft as his own loving lips,
and, holding it against my cheek,
I dreamed of him, and when I woke
I dreamed of him again.
It saddened me to see the rose die;
to watch it fade and dry to a crisp.
I kept it for months, but one day I discovered it gone,
My mother must have swept it up, not realising
how important it was.
Energy cannot be created or destroyed;
sometimes I remember that flower, and wonder
where it is, and what it has become.
I hope its remains were soaked up by a rambling rose
which blooms in fragrant celebration of endless love.
©Jane Paterson Basil