The Last Rose of Summer by Russell Bittner

I droop, then drop my petals one by one

in penitence for having loved the sun.

“Too much,” you say? That's just a damned cliché -

like whacks your children give you when you stray.


But first things first. This bloom must try to cope

with upstart petals clinging to the hope.

I'll spot in them some crummy little thing

that might induce a cuckoo clock to sing


by hunkering down with thorns to get a fix

on those who mark their prominence in pricks

and would reduce me in their mindless rage

to kindling - unheard of in an age


when fires are a dread domestic chore

that even middling dunderheads abhor.

And Love-lies-bleeding? Just some lame excuse

for silt to bed a flower on the loose.



You could've plucked me in my gravid prime,

but let me go to seed upon the vine

like some ill-gotten gain, some stolen kiss

that aphids run amok affect to miss.


So now, before I ask, like Salomé,

of Herod, for Herodias, a tray

to offer up my pistil to the sun,

I'll shed for you my petals, one by one..

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