Tuesday Poem – Fallen Roses

‘Time for one last picture’ says dad.
‘In the lounge against the rose paper’
says mum.  ‘So pretty.’
She plucks one 
and gives it to her daughter

who stares straight ahead. 
I will not weep.
‘Sit up James look happy.’
This is the springboard to your life.
No you won’t miss grandpa
 and his pockets full of sweets

or grandma
and her warm  chocolate brownies.
Nor will you miss feijoas in the autumn
sweet and soft scented.
‘Sit up straight now.
Smile at the camera.’

And Alan holds the baby
little Jo, one hand on her knee
and her tiny one
draped across his.
Hope we’re doing the right thing.
The kids‘ll miss this place.
I’ll miss the Sunday dinners.
And little Jo her eyes squeezing
cheek muscles working, sucks her bottle.

James in the centre
wants to pee.
Should he make a dash
before they all converge
and flail
amid the roses
falling from the walls.

(c) Helen McKinlay 2005

Fallen Roses PaintingI wrote Fallen Roses in response to the above painting.  This rather battered old print (above) came from a calendar and was one of many cutouts spread across the floor by Diane Brown.  Her intention was for us to choose a picture and write a poem.  I bonded with this one  immediately.  I would love to know its origin, who was the artist … but so far have had no luck. If you recognize it please let me know 🙂

And now do visit the hub page at Tuesday Poem,  where Andrew Bell is this week’s editor with a poem to be read and read again, by Christchurch poet Marisa Cappetta. And take time to delve into the wonders of the sidebar where up to thirty other poets from New Zealand and overseas post a variety of stimulating poems.