To The Lady Who Put Roses Out

 

It was a quiet day on a quiet street.

 

It seems like it was one of those family holidays;

 

Maybe Father’s Day or Mother’s Day… I don’t recall.

 

It was a good day for a walk.

 

 

 

We took our time, talking along the way.

 

We were not walking for distance or speed.

 

The old sidewalk was cracked and uneven…

 

Sort of the way life is.

 

 

 

We watched our step.  You remember that

 

old saying about stepping on a crack?

 

There was a nice breeze off the river.

 

Birds were rejoicing in the trees.

 

 

 

We heard the wind in the big trees in

 

the old cemetery.  It was well kept.

 

People cared about cemeteries here.

 

So do the squirrels…policing the rows.

 

 

 

One block. Two blocks. Three…four.

 

The houses were perched high on each side

 

with sloping yards and low stone walls.

 

Middle-aged houses – nothing grand.

 

 

 

There ahead, on a low cobbled wall,

 

sat a small painted bucket of cut red roses.

 

“Please take one” the penciled sign said.

 

She took one. “How nice” he said.

 

 

 

We continued another few blocks…

 

Stopped for coffee and then doubled back.

 

The roses were still there but fewer, now.

 

Other walkers must have read the sign.

 

 

 

Like a pebble in a pond, this

 

simple act of sharing rippled through

 

the lives of people she never met

 

but cared about from a distance.

 

Comments 6

 
Sue Martin Glasco on Saturday, 27 February 2016 05:02

Such a pleasant walk I just took. And I loved the rose. It smells so sweet. I really liked this poem, Ken. It brought back memories of a walk I took the summer I was six in Boulder, Colorado, with my father. I was already there in memory even before you mentioned stepping on a crack. Daddy was a very attentive father and always made me feel like a million dollars. He would discuss serious topics with me as if I were a very wise older person. However, he was never one to be silly despite his great sense of humor. As we walked, I prevailed on him to play "Step on a crack and you'll break your mother's back." He did so watching out for cracks and letting me talk about it for quite awhile, and then he had enough and said so. The memory always makes me smile. Thanks for bringing it back to me once more.

Such a pleasant walk I just took. And I loved the rose. It smells so sweet. I really liked this poem, Ken. It brought back memories of a walk I took the summer I was six in Boulder, Colorado, with my father. I was already there in memory even before you mentioned stepping on a crack. Daddy was a very attentive father and always made me feel like a million dollars. He would discuss serious topics with me as if I were a very wise older person. However, he was never one to be silly despite his great sense of humor. As we walked, I prevailed on him to play "Step on a crack and you'll break your mother's back." He did so watching out for cracks and letting me talk about it for quite awhile, and then he had enough and said so. The memory always makes me smile. Thanks for bringing it back to me once more.
Monika Schott PhD on Saturday, 27 February 2016 07:28

Lovely, gentle words, Ken. I'd love to chance upon a bucket of roses for sharing on a walk one day. M.

Lovely, gentle words, Ken. I'd love to chance upon a bucket of roses for sharing on a walk one day. M.
Rosy Cole on Saturday, 27 February 2016 13:10

This is beautiful, Ken. A poem...I want to say...that shares the oxygen of simplicity. Such instances, as Sue shows, too, are clearly a strengthening gift for ever. Thank you!

This is beautiful, Ken. A poem...I want to say...that shares the oxygen of simplicity. Such instances, as Sue shows, too, are clearly a strengthening gift for ever. Thank you!
Barbara Froman on Saturday, 27 February 2016 16:29

Lovely...the experience, the joy, simplicity—the walk and the writing. Enjoyed every word and moment! Thanks.

Lovely...the experience, the joy, simplicity—the walk and the writing. Enjoyed every word and moment! Thanks.
Ken Hartke on Saturday, 27 February 2016 17:11

Thanks for walking along and your kind remarks. It's funny how we remember those rare days in the middle of all the craziness -- a mark of sanity, I hope.

Thanks for walking along and your kind remarks. It's funny how we remember those rare days in the middle of all the craziness -- a mark of sanity, I hope.
Stephen Evans on Monday, 29 February 2016 04:42

Charming.

Charming.
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