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Long-Ago Roses for Valentine’s Day
© 2011 Paula Tohline Calhoun

The long-dead roses, red and pink,
Cast their shadows on the old stopped clock
Upon the crowded mantle.
Their heads bowed low upon the brittle stem,
Their colors faded, yet deepened.
These roses have a quiet hue
Only death can bring about.
In vibrant life, youth hides such subtlety
Within closely wrapped petals.
These roses save their best for last,
As the petals, one by one,
Let go the union of their blossom.
They settle upon the floor below
And cast by the vagaries of air
Whisked about by daily traffic,
Their colors are strewn across the threshold
As for a bridal march.
And I, each day reborn,
Become a bride again.
The stopped clock on the mantle
Beside the vase of wilted blooms
Has no need of setting or winding.
Time, the roses know, moves on.
With or without a time-keeper,
The petals know
When it’s time to go,
Releasing to the ambient air
Their sweetest scent
Meant for fools like I
Who save such tarnished coins
Within a vault of memory’s currency .

God bless you all, Gentle Readers, with enough. . .

                                                                                                        

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