Sunday, July 10, 2011

Rosebush Recovery

My daughter's fragrant pink rose was among those uprooted this spring and moved a couple of feet to a new hole in the garden because workmen needed to dig a trench across the spot where it had lavishly thriven in former years. After this forced transplanting, it looked limp and ill for months. I fed it as frequently as I dared, but had come to expect that it would be barren this whole year, and then (I hoped) next year it might come back, after pruning. Lo and behold, it has rallied enough just in the past couple of weeks for a strong midsummer blooming.

The Rose

a labyrinth,
as if at its center,
god would be there—
but at the center, only rose,
where rose came from,
where rose grows—
& us, inside of the lips & lips:
the likenesses, the eyes, & the hair,
we are born of,
fed by, & marry with,
only flesh itself, only its passage
—out of where? to where?

Then god the mother said to Jim, in a dream,
Never mind you, Jim,
come rest again on the country porch of my knees.

-- by Jean Valentine, from Little Boat © 2007