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Experiment 13

A Woman Taking Home Rose Bushes On A Corporation Bus

A Woman Taking Home Rose Bushes On A Corporation Bus

Weighed down with carrying
children and rose bushes
slack-mouthed and tired
she sits down in the bus
a solitary rose bloom
bobbing beneath her chin

For her no perfumed garden
of the lute and tryst
page 12 where men are broken
for truth or a kiss
Nor rose red city
half as old as time
No seventh son to mark
by a cadency of rose
to be chrismed by bishop saint
and sally forth to burn
mud huts and unruly peasants
with the same casual brand

Her seventh died
when the old man came home
one Friday night from the pub
and kicked her in the guts

Sub rosa
under the rose to bed
and Harpocrates bribed to silence
when Venus lifts the latch

But her venial indiscretions
on picnics and carseats
have paled long ago

Alone she sees over detergent bubbles
bursting like H-bombs, white roses
blooming against a clapboard fence
for reality is always present in her dreams

To those who grow judical roses
for our time, the purposes are sharp
to poets
and women carrying rose bushes
the thorns and gouged eyes.

Frederick Parmee.

page 13

Drawing by Helen McGrath