A dozen cut roses.
Delicate pink children
severed at the knee for my admiration -
Beauty on demand.
How differently each responds to its destiny.
Some cling to their bud-like form as if frightened sacrificial virgins.
Others rush into full-bloom and death
with an abandon only the condemned can know.
Yet, some still take the time to open slowly,
Indifferent to the fact that they have been cut off from their life force,
they draw from within into bloom
with dignity and defiance.
Fulfilling their life's work
despite what they know
or because of what they know
but without hesitation or excuse.