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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 11, Number 2, June 2017
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Adelaide B. Shaw
Millbrook, New York, USA


My Comeback Roses

We have a garden and I have become, by necessity, a gardener. Our move to the country, to a house with over an acre of land, meant some gardening had to be done. With books, a spade, and the knowledgeable voice of a local nurseryman we plant shrubs, grasses, flowers.

dirt under my nails
I trade pink polish
for peonies
sweeter and longer lasting
than any manicure

Success with daisies, phlox, black-eyed susans, irises, spirea, and many shrubs and annuals have swelled my head. I'm a gardener! I'll plant roses next. Pooh on all the doubters who say they are hard to grow. The roses do well that summer and survive the harsh winter, leafing out beautifully in the spring. Then, catastrophe. The leaves are full of pinholes and getting brown. Buds are shriveled. Aphids! That's what the nurseryman tells me. I go on the attack, spray heavily, and wait one week. Two weeks. One morning I see new growth. By mid-July new buds have formed. I spray again and wait.

a rose bouquet
sprinkled with morning dew
in bare hands
ignoring the thorns and pricks
and fresh drops of blood

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