OF THE WINTER
|The path beyond the garden gate
Weaves 'round the olive trees
And leads to where the flowers sway
Upon a gentle breeze.
Behind the heads of crimson red
And periwinkle blue,
A thicket creeps the mossy wall
Without a bloom in view.
It lends no beauty to the path
Or boulders it adorns,
But spreads in tangled disarray
Of brushwood, leaves and thorns.
But once upon another time
This scene was not the same―
The thicket flourished in the spring
With roses fraught with fame.
Its blooms were largest ever seen
With petals gleaming white
And all who walked the garden path
Would marvel at the sight.
Then one year an early frost
Befell the flower beds
And muted shades of gold and brown
Replaced the blues and reds.
The twisted thicket thus surmised
If it bloomed in fall
Its blossoms would look grander still
Against the garden wall.
So when the summer came to pass,
The buds would bide their time
And burst against the autumn hues
In splendor most sublime.
Yet even as the blooms unfurled
Beneath a harvest moon,
The vines considered once again
Perhaps they'd shone too soon.
Since autumn proved a better time
To let the blossoms shine,
Their splendor later in the year
Would surely look divine.
Thus earthly colors came and passed
Without a single rose,
Until the garden paths were white
With light and drifting snows.
But when the tendrils ventured forth
To punctuate the sheen,
Their blossoms blended with the frost
And nary could be seen.
No longer was the thicket known
For roses to enthrall,
But as a tangled mass of thorns
Along the garden wall.
One springtide eve a stranger came
And strolled among the trees
To shed a tear and float a prayer
Upon the fragrant breeze.
He gazed upon the fruitless vines
Behind buds red and blue
And wondered why no roses thrived
As they were meant to do.
Late that night some shadows fell
To bring the stranger down;
They pulled vines from the thicket's heart
And wove a thorny crown.
A legend sprang to life that night
And garnered deep disdain
For how God's beauty once denied
Brought misery and pain.
And to this day the Winter Rose
Blooms pink against the snow,
Its petals blushed with ancient shame
From choices long ago.