Monday, July 12, 2010


When I was young there was a rambling rose bush

by the side of our garage.

My mother would cut a branch or two

And send us off with them wrapped in tin foil;

to thank a teacher or be gracious to a neighbor.

I can remember how she pruned it back

in the hot summer sun.

Beads of sweat on her forehead.

There, with her bare hands exposed to the thorns,

carefully allowing her fingers to feel the branches.

That was the only way to know

how best to shape it

so the beauty would show through.

“Nothing in nature is wasted or in vein” she would say.

She always made good use for the discarded.

That was her way.

week 24. Pruning

I've visited many rose gardens this summer and I always seem to notice how beautifully maintained the bushes are. One thing in particular that I’ve noticed about rose bushes is the way in which they are pruned. In many aspects pruning can reflect our own behaviors as human beings. For example, we must cut back and trim in order to allow a healthier plant to immerge. We try to give shape to our lives, knowing that we must be careful in choosing what allows us to thrive. Determining what to keep and what to let go of is hard sometimes, but definitely necessary. We look at the big picture (the bush) while also examining each piece (the branch). Even the things we can no longer use, those too must be considered. Maybe finding a purpose for these small things gives meaning to our everyday lives.

1 comment:

  1. this is one of my fave poems of yours here. simple and real and beautiful. and a wonderful portrait of your mom. and i LOVE the print. something about it is very striking...