She’d been born beautiful.
Green leaves like teardrops
cocooning her tightly spiraled bud,
a restless infant eager to grow up.

What ecstasy when her body blossomed,
scalloped petals unfurling
like saffron drops of sunlight,
releasing the scent of seduction
to kiss an enraptured breeze.

“A perfect yellow rose,” sighed the little gardener.
For 74 years, he had tended to every birth,
trimming distasteful thorns out of each blossom’s sight,
arranging visits from bees like lovers’ liaisons,
all to enhance the brief exotic life of every flower.

But this rose, poor thing, had no sense of time,
was not ready for her veins brittling,
her petals browning into raspy parchment,
sobbing as they plummeted to the now indifferent earth.
She had thought she would live forever.

Jen OConnor’s works are published in Two Hawks Quarterly, Saved Objects, Imagine Magazine, Iris Brown Lit Mag, Medusa’s Laugh Press, Persimmon Tree, Impossible Archetype, London Journal of Fiction, American Writers Review, Sinister Wisdom, ImageOutWrite! and have been featured in spoken word performances in Los Angeles.