The Single Red Rose
I came upon a house by the road all broken and torn.
I walked silently to it,
grasped in its hold.
Then I sat on steps of the old sagging porch.
Through the smell of rotting wood a sweet odor arose.
And creeping from beneath the porch step stood a single red rose.
I heard the laughter of children playing,
and was startled by their ghosts;
Then the house that was decaying
Took on the beauty it had lost.
A dog ran circles in the yard,
chasing with the children.
A lump caught in my throat off-guard
from the spectacle I was seeing!
The scent of fresh-mowed summer grass
mingled with cooking supper through the air;
I saw a shadow by the window pass,
and heard pots and pans in the kitchen clamor.
A voice called out from behind me,
and when I turned to the opened shutters,
A lovely woman announced, "It's time to eat!"
And the children rushed to their mother.
I felt their bodies pass right through me
as they hurried up the steps;
Felt the warmth of their bodies,
and tasted the sweetness of their sweat.
I knew it was time that I should go,
so I started across the lawn.
And when I got nearer to the road,
the house decayed and lost its charm.
I stood for a moment quiet;
It was hard for me to let go -
To know that all must someday die,
Then in the corner of my eye
I saw the single red rose.
© 1998 Linda G. Macri