The Roses at the End of

by Kelly R. Samuels


Like the plum tree we planted
the first spring there. There, in the corner
where the stones had been stacked
in a sloppy way to form some sort of
tangible border – the kind that helped
us from not stepping off
the raised lot to break our ankle or wrist,
landing as we would. This tree
seemed romantic in a way that other
flowering trees did not – how it bore
a fruit with a groove and smooth stone
after all those blossoms so many, so full.
The blue bowl heaped with. And the jam
early morning. And how we fretted
over drought and the small green buds
dropping like the vintner worrying
over their rows, all the roses
at the end of serving as – to die first
as warning. Withering quick.




Kelly R. Samuels is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. She is the author of the chapbooks Words Some of Us Rarely Use (Unsolicited Press) and Zeena / Zenobia Speaks (Finishing Line Press). Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Salt Hill, Stirring, SWWIM, Heron Tree, and RHINO. She lives in the upper Midwest.


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