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if there be thorns

a red ball growing on her fingertip,
she grabs a rag in an effort
to avoid painting the roses red,
literally, and so to speak.

late afternoon sunlight glares
through the dusty windows across the room
(she really needs to clean those),
and a spark of color catches her eye.

wildrose and sweetwilliam
are growing by the gate,
just like she brought her mother once.
she closes her eyes and steadies herself for a second.

turning on the faucet,
she runs cold water over her finger.
funny how such a little thing can sting so noticeably.
she remembers her mother scolding, big girls don’t cry.

oh how she’d come to dread those words,
for her mother spoke them
with eyes filled with hatred and disgust,
eyes that made her feel sick and empty.

drying her hands, she remembers
a young child’s hands, scruffy from a hard day of play
and laden with flowers, an expectant smile,
a young heart filled with excited anticipation.

but she was home alone,
so the child arranged her precious treasures
on the porch for her mother to find
and delight in when she finally made it back.

that was before the darkness,
before hope had abandoned her
(or had she abandoned hope…?),
before the numbness had set in.

memories assault her
of endless nights she had lain in her bed,
always awakened by the battle down the hall,
a rag doll, afraid to cry.

her mother would rage and cry
(once because the rag doll had left weeds on the porch
and she’d had to clean them up).
a lost lullaby, really, because rag dolls can’t cry.

she finishes arranging her flowers and sighs.
as she carries them to a spot
in front of the dusty windows,
a glance in the mirror reveals her mother’s eyes.

no matter really and no surprise,
she has always known that
in a world of promised rose gardens
there will always be thorns.


Sorry for the darkness, friends xo

Published by bugsiboo33

just a place to post some poems

17 thoughts on “if there be thorns

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