When my wife opened her birthday gift
from our daughter, she found a miniature
rosebush, carefully wrapped, about three
inches tall. I followed the instructions
for planting until it stood straight, centered
in its accompanying ceramic pot. Its leaves
were no bigger than an infant’s fingernail,
its two buds on each side of its Y-shaped,
thornless stem, promised a future, and it
came, slowly at first, but before too long
a flurry of green and pink. Then the black
spot disease struck. Its leaves would fall
with the slightest touch. I sprayed to lend
a helping hand as it grew into its thorns.