You used to tend to roses,
scarlets and blondes,
as if they would bring back
the one that you lost to the sea.

Now all they are,
are reminders of the little hands
and little feet that came running
to help with your roses. Dashing off
to fight waves in timber boats
only once done tending fragile shoots.

Water baby you called him.
Barely able to stay on land
long enough to tend to your
sugar-tinged bouquet
mixing with sea-tinged air
that seemed to surround him always.

Passing with the seasons,
roots, stem, leaves and bulb.
Gardening gloves too large
for fingers that were as quick
to rip up weeds as they were
to thrust up sails.

Protected from rain and snow,
your rose garden flourished.
Nourished by your love,
your son blossomed.
Meticulous and proud you were,
carefully tending until they both grew strong.

Now steel has replaced wood and bullets, roses.
He no longer rips up wild plant, instead
he blasts apart his fellow man
with the same hands. Except
they’re not so little anymore.

All you have left are memories of times
when he tended your rose garden,
turning over hard earth with shovel,
the same earth he now destroys with bombs.

Spent are the lazy summers, in their place,
eternal winters where men are determined
by what they do and judged
by those they are sworn to protect.

Gone the delight of silky reds and sleek golds.
All too quickly their season ended.
Now your rose garden is windswept, trodden
its florid bursts diminished. Starving for light
but never thirsting for tears.

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