News Poetry: “A Rose for Paris”

–for humanity

A rose for Paris, yes,
left in the balcony
or on a small table
at the corner cafe.

A rose for for Aurora,
for Ferguson, for Chicago,
for sons and daughters
taken in the street or the jail,
the alley or the front yard, near the rose
trellis, without warning.

Place a nosegay on the burning heap
for long-suffering Beirut. And Kenya
(largest exporter of flowers to Europe).
Mumbai. Even lovely Bali, set roses there
named for the color of the sunset.

Litter the streets of east L.A.
with rose petals, as weddings
turn into funerals.

Leave bouquets along the Gaza Strip
and Israel, as many as you can. Fling them
over the border into Jordan. And Yemen.

Plant climbing roses in the ground
where the Twin Towers fell. Where
the Grenfell pyre remains. Let them
reach up, each year, in June. Every
bloom a name with a life attached.

From Damascus, count how many
roses each refugee can carry,
though the flowers of their children
lie curled at the edge of the sea.
How many bouquets would it take to sink
their ships? As for the lost boys of ISIS,
raised without benefit of women,
will there ever be enough roses to go around?


Photo credit: Petteri Sulonen, Creative Commons, Flickr

Colorado poet. She is also the author of a nonfiction book, The Cottonwood Tree: An American Champion, and a contributor to The Bloomsbury Review.


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