Wednesday, June 1, 2016

When yellow was the perfect colour

Yellow has that unfortunate connotation in battle. But yellow is a warm light. And blazing gorse is the fullest vent of Summer's exuberance. A yellow rose on the verge of full bloom is the promise of just that. 

The Yellow Rose.
                for Alan Biddle (1952-1994).

When his eyes had shut for good
and his face was just a face
and conversation had slowed
to the ebb and flow of memories
speaking among themselves,
a small gesture recast the day.
She placed a yellow rose on his chest
over the picture of the Sacred Heart.
The gentleness of that moment;

the single rose: how well chosen;
how well she chose it.
His face changed, full of ease
as through all his illness,
but death had sculpted warmth away.
His eyes shut against us,
fingers tangled up in rosary beads;
I'll remember him alive
or remember the rose when he was dead.

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