Hoyt Lake Roses.jpg

I began composing the following poem during a Sunday afternoon walk, when I noticed the above flowers, among others, floating in the lake at the center of a local park where a wedding party was gathered in defiance of the threat of rain.

 

With pride that she is drawing strangers’ eyes

And parting them around her ruffled wake,

An earnest bride dismisses stormy skies

To start her fairytale beside the lake.

 

She holds the gaudy remnants of bouquets

Insisting each discarded bud bestows

An honor, though she knows if held for days

The roses would distinctly decompose.

 

A passerby may recognize the way

She took, but not by looking at the path.

Instead, the lakeshore places on display

The wedding’s brightly scattered aftermath.

 

The petals soon are half-concealed in mud

Or sunken in the distance like a stone.

The red begins to seep away like blood,

While white protrudes as if a broken bone.

 

The flowers may look lovely on descent

And flutter through the air like butterflies,

But just like everything that’s heaven-sent

The picture-perfect staging swiftly dies.

 

Some dreamers’ careful planning may portend

A beautiful experience they crave,

Begun by disregarding what depends

On sending further beauty to its grave.

 

And so it is with these, the bride and groom.

Before they settle in their marriage bed

Reminders must be absent from their room

Of gardens that were slaughtered in their stead.

 

It seems the roses must be tossed away

In that brief moment at the quiet heart

Of ceremony ‘fore the lovers say

The chilling final words, “death do us part.”

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