Red Roses

I am a dozen long stemmed red roses

that someone forgot to deliver.

I have sat in my box for months;

my thoughts like their blossoms

droop then dry, become brittle, prosaic.

Stems turn from green to brown to gray

become stiff, sculptural, stark

like stripling trees in winter.

Only my thorns have value –

able to pierce, stab, jab, 

jerk awake the messenger,

remind her to bring the bouquet, 

in its desiccated beauty to my front door

where I am bare-faced in my small world.

I handle me delicately, lovingly

relieved I am not petal dust on the floor. 

Charlene Stegman Moskal is in her seventh decade, laughs often and loves coffee ice cream hot fudge sundaes. Her second chapbook is “One Bare Foot” ( Zeitgeist Press ) and she is most recently published in “Humana Obscura”, “Connecticut River Review”, and ”Sandstone & Silver; an Anthology of Nevada Poets”.