Cajun Mutt Press Featured Writer 01/11/21

Rose du Jour

As predictable as the
crew-cut ten-year-old on a dirt bike
who tossed the evening Tribune
onto sprinkler-bathed suburban lawns,
I’d invest in a single rose,
sometimes a reticent bud,
but often a burlesque exhibitionist showcasing its silky flesh,
every afternoon at the Belmont Harbor Market,
carry it though flag-whipping winds and sweat-drenched stenches,
past pastel Paschal petals and the flashy tree-queens of fall, and
deposit it in a plastic vase with a view
diving down eleven stories
into an alley littered with shadows and
disputes and droning car alarms.

She’d never requested the flowers
yet always smiled in silence
at these splashes of love
and of guilt for not giving her more
than a clumsy, paunchy pallor better
suited to self-isolation in a forest cottage concealing
unsettling secrets
among frisky rivers of forget-me-nots.

Year after year, roses replaced roses
in a reassuring bridge of botanical links until we
learned of her allergy following a strange
succession of sneezes and sniffles.
The divorce papers were produced
within a month.

©2021 Adrian Slonaker All rights reserved.

Language professional and face mask collector Adrian Slonaker lives in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada and is into rock ‘n’ roll music, opals and late-night thunderstorms. Adrian’s work, which has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, has been published in WINK: Writers in the Know, The Be Zine, Gnashing Teeth, The Pangolin Review and others.

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