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Untitled (Rose)

By Greg Yingling

There was a slight breeze in the meadow that afternoon, to which the flowers bowed and the butterflies flitted over. There was one flower in particular that always caught your eye. It was a tall, slender rose, near the center of the garden. So perfectly shaped, the gentle curves, the delicate petals, the pristine leaves. It had thorns, so narrow and sharp. So beautiful and grand.

The next day it rained. The butterflies took cover, in the leaves of surrounding trees. The flowers, bent and drooping beneath the heavy rain, they couldn’t hide. The soil running fast, some of the flowers didn’t last.

Children were playing in the meadow the day after. Running beneath the trees, grasping at the butterflies, who flitted from their grasps. The boys picked flowers to bring to the girls. The girls shrieked and ran, stomping through the flowers, with the boys close behind. The rose was kicked aside; a slight crack in it’s slender stalk.

A storm rose up early the next morning, harsh winds, blowing this way and that. They whispered to the rose, “go this way”, “no that way”, and it did. Swirling the flowers round and round, some fell to the ground. The rain and hail pelted down, like little bombs from the sky, tearing leaves, rending delicate petals. The flowers were in pain. A few butterflies were caught in the gusts of wind, drawn out of their shelter and dashed about; they never had a chance to fly again.

A year later the rose had healed, the epitome of beauty. The butterflies glided through the air, so free. From the east a gust, “bend with me” it said, and the flowers bent. The butterflies chose what they did, some glided with the wind, others defied it.

A drought had begun; the flowers were drying out. Only the rose was left standing, starting to wilt. The butterflies had left, in search of water. Slowly, the rose began to fade, but then an interesting thing occurred. The remains of the rose began to move, a transformation had occurred, and a butterfly emerged. The most beautiful butterfly of all, colored like a rose and all. It flitted about, searching for a path. The wind blew this way saying “bend with me”, but it resisted, it’s new found glory.

It flew above my head, landed on my shoulder and said sweet things that can’t be read. Then it flew away, never to return.