The Roses Ask For You

by Jerry Ratch


The roses ask for you when I smell them

They seem to remember your touch more than

others. They can't bear it when you're gone

and wonder when you'll be returning

I am beginning to do the same


I no longer go outdoors to be with them

because the litany of names that you

whispered in their sweet ears

upon leaving, has grown loud

I think the neighbors hear them


The roses are planted in a row along the

fence. I don't have the heart to go out

pulling weeds among them. They're too red

I can't go past without them catching my

coat. They need pruning. You did that


Now they hang down their faces and look

abandoned. Come back. I don't have the same

touch. Take one more round with them

Things will never be the same as before you

left, but they will revive, I know it