For four years we took pleasure

in the rose bush growing near the front porch

of the white painted house

planted next to the church

in northern Tasmania.

A dark and velvety red,

its perfume was as deep

and as beautiful as its colour.

We tended it with care,

and, though it had been planted

long before our residency,

we took much pride in it, and joy.

We thought of those

who had also experienced its blessing

in years long past, some of whom we knew;

and we enjoyed our connection of delight.

Some years later we walked past that house,

and, being that time of the year,

we paused to look down the driveway

to see if our rose was in bloom.

Yes, there it was,

covered in the small white flowers

of the all-conquering rootstock.


Every three years we read the story

of the true vine,

and of us branches

who have been grafted into the vine;

and I am reminded of the importance

of the pruning, the pain,

and the sap that is spilled

in the process of being made fruitful.


© Ken Rookes 2012


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