Online since August 2002

Why Roses Matter

Ursula T. Gibson is poet laureate of Sunland-Tujunga for 2006-2008; she was the longtime poetry editor for the Poetic Voices site, and is author of "The Blossoms of the Night-Blooming Cereus".

This morning, the last bud
on the rose bush opened.
I know there will be more;
this bush is enthusiastic
about living and blooms
five times a year!
But I treasure this last bud
of this mid-summer crop
because it faces the heat
with open bravery and
welcomes searching bees
with courtesy and grace.

It does not know how short
life is. It opens its petals
willingly, displaying color
and velvet against the greenery,
without a thought that this
might end. It blooms;
that is its task, and oh!
how well it does its work!
The last, sweet fragrance
strong in the sunlight,
the last red and yellow petals
spread wide and welcoming,
the last perfect display
of what a rose should be –
those are its perceptions;
those are its work on earth.

I hope my last rose on this bush
knows that it gives hope and
pleasure by its beauty.
I hope it knows that its work
brightens my day and adds
to the beauty in my life.
Somehow, I hope that roses
are cognizant of their contributions
to remind us that
perfection is possible,
that generosity is a virtue,
that beauty matters!


Published May 2006


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