A Bowl of White Roses


Welcome to one of the rain’s most fundamental agendas. An offering of a few fallen
leaves, an induction into the river’s rant, a declension of tears. These things her body
knew first. But she kept finding her husband’s face trapped in the mirror, his sympathy
left lying about like a torn shirt, the room packed with a tremendous lack of people.
Greet her with your scars. Be tactful and lean. She is ruthless and sensitive. She is
clever and clearly not what you need but what you want.
At dusk their lost child briefly reappears in the pattern the wind makes with the
undersides of the birch leaves. Soon it will no longer be the sun shining on the fruit in the
wooden bowl that illuminates the silent table, but the fruit itself.
He was the kind of man who never quite arrived at the storm. His mistakes were
brilliant. He followed a hinged strategy of wonder, like an afterthought on the ragged
edge of his escape. She gave back pieces of the story, like seeds falling from the cloak of
a tired traveler. Her cry hung on the air like wet laundry. A flight of birds swerved to
include the sound, recovered and continued weaving north to settle a dispute in an older
When the time for decisions came, he was distant and deliberate. She served a bowl
of white rose petals, and the past quickly grew more fragile than the tiniest brittle link in
an insect’s claw, as fragile as the moment she finally accepted the emptiness. But she is
unable to ask for a divorce. She cannot stop consulting his carelessness.
If only the night could bring the peace it seems to promise. One child is hopeful.
One child lost in the wilderness is even more hopeful.
But your wilderness has a desperate history and hers a husband. And children get
lost slowly in their own lives.

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.