Space to Breathe and Grow

Verse – “Pruning”

Even under insulating cones,
roses in the Midwest winter die
back and turn brown from the tips of canes
almost to the ground. It’s time for my
pruning shears to clip away the dead
wood and give the living plant some air–
space to breathe and grow. The thorns are red,
black or brown, but still sharp so I wear
gloves of thick cowhide to carry all
cuttings to the backyard burn pile. Fire
turns them all to ashes which I pile
at the foot of every rose bush. There
fertilizer, water, and bonemeal
grow the blooms that make it all worthwhile.

– Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL, April 15, 2013

1 thought on “Space to Breathe and Grow

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