The trailing rose

The trailing rose grew wild and forlorn.

It was a beautiful thing,

even when left to its own devises.

It grew up the side of the porch

with its crimson blossoms facing outward,

reaching to the sun.

It keeps growing,

being as tall, almost, as the roof

and as wide, almost, as the porch that supports it.

It has grown from nothing at all,

merely a stick, as I recall.

It was just a stick with three barely green leaves

when I planted it.

I had thought it to be dead or dying,

so I put it in the ground,

watered it only once,

and harshly left it alone.

I thought I should not fuss over it,

nor get myself attached,

as it would rot to the ground soon enough

and my labor would be wasted.

Yet day after day it lived on,

survived the winter uncovered,

survived my neglect

and even thrived

leaning against the porch rails

of my tattered house on the top of the hill.

It blooms from spring till early fall,

changes to red with new growth

and sleeps through the winter.

Each new year, it springs back to life,

offering buds to its god, the sun.

How much more strongly it might have grown,

how big and plentiful the blossoms might be,

if only I had tended to it well.

This is a thing I can never know.

And so it goes as well with my forsaken heart.

You took it, barely beating, from my chest

and planted it in a few kind words.

You watered it once with a touch from your rough hands,

then left it alone to wonder when you would return.

You did not notice as it grew,

helpless and unsure of itself,

in a world that is indifferent at best

to the struggle of an easily breakable thing.

You never looked as it shot upward

toward the sky,

offering its buds to you, its god.

I suppose I should be grateful

that you had tended once,

however briefly,

to this dying thing inside of me.

And yet, I cannot help but feel remorse somehow

that you gave it life and hope such as this.

I regret that you saved this dying vine

and then show no interest in its offerings of love.

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