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Against Roses


A long eugenic past

reduces roses to

a vain and pampered caste.


Their charm is artifice,

their fragile shell of cells

unfit for wilderness.


Their languid symmetries

and anorexic airs

exalt deformities.


A run of blossoms, thick

and tangled by the road,

displays a truer pick.


Prefer the bindweed vines

that cannot stand alone

yet clench the mossy spines


of trees and grasp as tight

as nightmares or disease

while hoarding hints of light.


By cloning a delight,

obsessing towards some form,

we dull what should excite.


A rose bouquet contrives

to label wordless joy

when nothing true survives.


A.M. Juster



A.M. Juster; first printed in

Mockingbird; reprinted by
permission of the author.



Background by
Barbara's Creative Corner

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