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The First Rose
Roses are red, violets are…no. This isn’t one of those little love poems.
Roses are kind
Roses are happy.
Roses are passion, and roses are love.
Roses are the flower you give to ill people.
Roses are hope.
Roses are forgiving.
But the rose in front of me is wrinkled and dead. The rose in front of me had lost that vibrant red of a color. It’s flat and sad.
This is the first rose you ever gave me. I remember how you got it, too. You stole it from your neighbors rose bush and then you placed it behind my ear like a hair clip. I loved it so much that when I got home I placed in between an old book so that I could save it forever. Then, I never looked at it again. Well, until today.
I gently pick up the flower, holding it in my entire palm for more support, and touch one of the petals. It falls off and crumbles. I cry. I tear the dead thing apart until its rose dust. I cry more.
When the tears have gone just enough for me to see, I carefully gather as much of the rose dust as possible and put it in a plastic bag. I slip on my old winter boots and head out the door.
Even though I’m not physically thinking about where I’m going, I know where I’m going. My body moves automatically to the cemetery only a few blocks from my house. I don’t mind the walk. Even in the cold, dark winter. The trees are bare and the wind whispers in my ear. This means that there is nobody to see my face, splotched with tears.
I know exactly where you’re stone is, and when I see it I feel weak and dizzy. I fall to the ground on my knees and my jeans damped from the dew on the ground. I force myself to open my red eyes, as red as a new rose, and look up at your name.
Patrick Henry Miller
I could feel a scream creeping up my through my throat, threatening to jump out of my mouth. But then, out of the gray of the day, he appeared.
My head slowly went up and turned to face you. You were sitting against the grave stone, arms crossed against your chest. And if that wasn’t confusing enough, you were glowing with life and smiling.
“Why are you crying, Darla?” You said. I was speechless until you looked right into my eyes. It was almost unsettling how warm that gaze felt. “You...You’re…The factory!” I yelled. Patrick had been working in a factory, which everyone knew was dangerous, but it wasn’t until it came burning down that they really took note of it.
“I worked at the factory, yes.” He said. “I remember the fire, yes.” He paused then spoke again saying, “You’re crying, yes. But why?” I gathered enough strength to finally say “Because…you’re dead?” I was a question, but I already knew the answer.
“Perhaps I am.” He said looking to the sky thoughtfully. “But I’m happy. So you should be happy too.” “No. I don’t want to be happy.” I was being stubborn, but how was I supposed to be happy? “But you must, Darla. You see, it’s really a waste of your tears. I miss you, yes, but I’m happy. You must be happy too.” I looked down for a moment, thinking about this. How was I sure that this was even real? It had to be, I thought. It had to be.
When I looked back up he was smiling. Happy as he could ever be. “Ok.” I said. “I’ll be happy. For you.” He smiled wider, so wide it took up the bottom half of his face. I laughed because this smile always made me laugh. He then disappeared.
I felt something moving, growing in my hand. It was then that I realized that I still had the rose dust. I opened my hands and gasped. Inside the plastic bag was a beautiful, bright red rose. The most beautiful one I had ever seen. I quickly open the bag and took out the rose. The wind whispers in my ear, this time a voice carried with it. “This one will never die…”
Roses are kind
Roses are happy.
Roses are passion, and roses are love…..
Roses are life.