Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize
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The Rose

            A botanical lecture

It’s the cup of blood,
the dark drink lovers sip,
the secret food

It’s the pulse and elation
of girls on their birthdays,
it’s good-byes at the railroad station

It’s the murmur of rain,
the blink of daylight
in a still garden, the clink
of crystal; later, the train

pulling out, the white cloth,
apples, pears, and champagne—
good-bye! good-bye!
We’ll weep petals, and dry
our tears with thorns

A steep country springs up beyond
the window, with a sky like a pond,

a flood.  It’s a rush
of bright horror, a burning bush,
night’s heart,
the living side of the holy rood

It’s the whisper of grace in the martyrs’ wood

By Kelly Cherry
Recipient of the 2012 Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize

Reprinted by permission of Louisiana State University Press
from Natural Theology by Kelly Cherry.
Copyright © 1988 by Kelly Cherry.

© 2006 Carole Weinstein. All rights reserved.