For many years I ghost-walked
through grandma’s garden,
sat in auntie’s backyard—
nose in book, yet

every summer every rose
opened her fragrant self
and lived in glorious rest
in healing aroma

in honeyed light, longing
to give something
from each small self,
to those who sauntered by

unaware— problems to solve
chatting, gossiping, giggling.
I think of roses this summer,
fashion them from the sod

of my imagination
silly, I know, but
want to ask them
what their passions are—

a dancer, philosopher, a scientist
observing the observing?
Want to ask if this moment-encounter
is meant to teach me growing

from patience, from leaf
to bud, to full glory.
Want to ask if they ever felt longing
as spring rain nourished

their thirsty roots
secured in fertile loam.
Then Mary Oliver deeply reminds
with gratitude and wonder:

What does it matter,
their answer is simply to rise
in joyfulness all their days.