The roses lasted for days and days and days.
—Alison Murchie

When we bought the new house,
I didn’t take the rose bush
that I planted, fed, and trimmed
for twenty-five years at the old house.
The JFK Rose to honor that president
as my mother honored our love
with this potted bush when we bought
that first house. Those white blossoms
larger than my palm lasted beyond
my love of its beauty. Its fragrance
decorating the summer nights we sat
out back watching the moon rise
over the mountain, the black shadows
and pale light hanging in the sky
like a July Christmas ornament.
Those white petals closed until
tomorrow’s sun beckoned them
and my gentle hands trimmed
a few for the vase on the dining table.
Before we moved, I dug up a tiny, wild
white pine from the woods to plant
in the treeless field behind the new house.
It’s over twenty feet tall now and harbors
birds resting from their struggles.
I didn’t bring that rose. I left it there
to bless the new family’s yard and life
as it blessed ours for years of days.