Lo! How a Rose E’er Bloomed This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

December 20, 2012
I sit by the edge of my grandmother's grave
Reflecting upon our entwined lives:

That night I slept over her house
When I awakened, she looked at my rat's nest of swirling curls
And said in shrill yet loving tone,
“You look like you just came out of a crazy house!”

That day we spent at that small beach with the park attached
Down the street from her home
I can still smell the salty aroma of sand and water
As she watched me ride the pink pony
We exchanged smiles as the sun set
To close that lovely day.

That April, she left for Austria
And left me, yet she promised
She would return in time for Easter Sunday.
I, still in the innocent spring of childhood, believed her.

A hug, a kiss, a farewell wave of my tender hand,
And she was gone.

In February, my grandfather passed along to me a rose
That he kept in a glass vase on the kitchen table that once sat two.
He dedicated it to my grandmother the morning she journeyed to the unknown
The tide of the ages ebbed and flowed; the memories flooded back to him.

That Valentine's Day when she boldly claimed him,
Handsome, blue-eyed Vincent of sixteen,
My grandfather,
In front of all of his admirers
(None were as beautiful as her)

The letters she penned to him
As he sailed with the Merchant Marines
In the midst of a trying, dangerous war …
Absence made their hearts grow fonder.

My grandmother married him.
My grandmother travelled around the world.
My grandmother raised a family.
My grandmother cherished her grandchildren.
My grandmother loved me.
My grandmother died.

She was a rose that bloomed over 75 years.
Her stem never wilted;
Her petals never faded
She had thorns, but I never felt them when she embraced me.

I can only hope that I too will blossom as she did.
As we reside in our separate spheres
One of life
One of death
Mine of the four seasons
And hers of an eternal springtime.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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itspatrickplease said...
Dec. 20, 2012 at 2:33 pm
Alana! I'm so proud of you! This poem is amazing, just like you! I remember the first time I heard you recite it in English class, and I'm sure we'll hear so much more from you! Lots of love <3  
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