Tis' but a Dying Rose (an ode to a flower?)

Flowers. I like flowers. But I have never enjoyed receiving them. I find it to be a selfish and heartbreaking process.

R. gave me a glorious pink rose for Valentine's day and although I was over the moon at having received something so beautiful, I am now watching it die—and it sucks.

Flowers look so much more beautiful on the ground, or in a pot; someplace safe and fresh and kind—a place where they can live and thrive. Like us, flowers need a home.

My flower does not have that. She has a small McDonald's cup, a cramped office space, and no natural light.

Yet despite her depressing environment she has valiantly held on. She has thrived. She has blossomed despite her dreary conditions and has generously provided me with some much needed comfort. My rose has given me the beauty I lack, and has done so without expecting anything in return.

Except for a glass of water, maybe.

But her exhaustion is showing.

Her stem is dark and dull. Her petals have become sickeningly soft. She has given me her beauty and fragrance unreservedly and despite my best efforts to be good to her we have both lost the battle. She is dying and I am watching her die. And there is nothing either of us can do about it.

I could throw her away, burn her, stomp her—do whatever was in my power to end her misery, but would that not be a betrayal of the worst kind?

She has been good to me and now I must wait.

I must keep her in her tiny McDonald's cup and watch as she bows and hardens. As her leaves fall and her stem rots. As her petals fall and crumble at my touch. I must watch as she silently gasps. As she agonizes and thinks of what her life could have been (if she had never left home).

Of the rain falling on her petals. On her leaves. On her stem, past her roots and into the deepest parts of (the) Earth itself. Of the warmth of the sun and the sway of the wind.

She could have lived. She could have been so many things. She could have been free. (she could have been) Alive. (and not in pain or agony or misery; not in a darkened room; with a depressed woman who has no idea of how to move forward)

She could have been somebody—someflower. But is she already not somebody's flower?

I never understood why the Little Prince loved his rose so much. Now I do.


C. W.