Roses, You Must Be

Clusters of all blooming roses boast
petals within petals; closer inspection reveals
the mystery of each petal's inscrutable face.

Roses are cool and valiant in winter;
I love the haughtiness of summer roses
that blossom in shorter, more brilliant lives.

Last night's dream found me in the rose garden
surrounded with no way out. I madly scattered
roses, petal after petal to the wind.

Each summer goes by reminding me of how
I love the strong boasting rose more than
the fragile pink that is miserable at heart.

Yellow roses, you must be yellow and yellow forever,
and red roses, you must be red, red, red to the death.

by Yukiko Inoue

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