Today I adorned my bed with sheets of roses,
patterned everywhere with their unfurling petals
of blue, cerise and pink.
Roses, with their heady or delicate or spicy fragrance,
will invade my dreams as I lie,
crushing them beneath my nakedness.
When I toss restlessly their satin softness
will caress my skin with sweet rememb’rings
of long-dead love.
Or will that be?
Will I feel only the sharp stabbing of their thorns,
the leathery scrape of saw-toothed leaves?
And isn’t that like life –
when we look back on love,
do we remember sweetspiced softness,
or do we know again the pricking
of the bruising hurts that so indelibly
imprint our hearts?
Is it the words, all honeyed sweetness, we recall,
or the harsh volleys of denial, disavowal?
It is no wonder that the color called
ashes of roses
is what it is;
for when I look back on love,
I see its muddied shade
defiling that once-clear and constant crimson.
© 2012 RC deWinter
Roses as a metaphor for love and remembrance.