Academic journal article Hecate

Like a Rose

Academic journal article Hecate

Like a Rose

Article excerpt

He made a white rose of Kleenex tissues

pleated and held with pipe-cleaner stem,

pulling out the layers: and taught her how to

singe short straws to frill each end and thread

them like colourful beads

- when I was seven and he was nine

She watched her mother growing roses,

prized in the garden for their haughty

heads, hated by her for the aphids

and unseen blood-spikes. But she

watched each year for Superstar to flash

its dragstar seventies orange

- when I was twelve and mum was thirty-six

In the pub, at the end of the night,

the guys bought single roses slotted

into plastic tubes, like circulatory ice-boxes.

The Petal-girls carried home these blooms,

proudly picked-up and captured

- when he was eighteen and I was sixteen

Bush roses, wild roses, small and scrambling

became her favourite. Never picked, too tiny,

too hard to get to, like a gang of

tough girls hanging-out, pretty to look at

but too strong together to attempt to

take. She wore one once in her fishnets.

- when I was twenty-six

He picked her a red rose, presented it

with thorns, saying how like her it

was - beautiful and prickly. She plucked

the petals over his chest and they rolled

on crushed rose in the bed.

- when I was thirty and he thirty-five

He pays for the second-hand dress of crimson

velvet, creased like a basketful of petals

smelling of desire. …

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