dimarts, de desembre 16, 2008


Remember the three roses of my life: the yellow rose for Marggie; the peach rose for Dee-Dee; and the wild rose for me.

Remember the yellow rose clinging to the white concrete block wall growing between the windows alongside Ott Thomas' garage in the small side yard at 111 N. 9th Street. It was Marggie's favorite rose whenever she sat on the side steps with her fat little feet on the flagstone. It grew tall and proud there, and when she was gone, taken away in a sudden infarct of the brain, we always thought of her when we saw one. At those times when I have left a flower at her grave, it's always been a yellow rose.

Also in the yard was a peach rose, and one time one came to grow entwined with the yellow. The peach rose was Dee-Dee's favorite rose, and like the two sisters, the peach and yellow over time grew to wrap around each other. When Dee-Dee went to sleep with the Great Question Mark late in the winter of 1994, she lay in her silver seraglio clasping a peach rose. And at those times when I have left a flower at her grave, it's always been a peach rose.

And for me the wild rose because I've always loved its fragrance. In the feral valley where I grew up, an old wild rose bush grew alongside our house, and in the house I bought for myself, in the front yard grows another fine old wild rose whose perfume filters along the street through late spring and early summer. It always reminds me of my childhood and the two sisters who saved me from boredom and self-loathing.

When I die, lay three roses to remember me: the yellow, the peach and the wild rose. Since wild roses are hard to make behave, if I come to take my trip to have tea with the Question Mark at an inopportune time, make mine a red rose, and then lay those three roses across each other. In the eternal sleep of the unknown, I would like my journey to end where it began: in the embrace of those two sisters.