Back from a walk,
chilled, frustrated
a our slow pace,
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.