THE SOLITARY ROSE
Back from a walk,
chilled, frustrated a our slow pace,
underwhelmed by life in general,
lockdown, growing old and all that,
looking forward to lunch and a small sherry
I see a closed bud in palest pink
on a straggly climbing rose by the front door.
I grab scissors, cut the stem,
select a slender vase, one for a single flower,
place the bud in water with all the care I'd use
for an expensive bouquet, set it on the kitchen worktop
and watch. I don't see it happen, but the winter rose
opens its petals, fragile, delicate as a ballet skirt,
pink turning white, and I'm full of wonder - such
beauty, such power in a solitary rose.