This mystery rose

red rose

Where did this rose come from, a persistent sucker stemming from nowhere, rising between the spiked canes of the yellow Agnes rose.

Could it be one of the wedding roses, spreading its red blooms across the yard?

Here’s more about those wedding roses.

When What Lives Will Thrive

The wedding roses open, a scarlet
snarl of petals ruffling in a stiff breeze—
reminder this chipped terra cotta pot
once held standard forms made to look like trees,
white flowers grafted onto stronger stock.
That unblemished cultivar did not last,
succumbed to the usual troubles—black
spot, powdery mildew, aphids, and rust—
but below, the root began to burgeon.
New shoots appeared, a tender green advance.
Years after that hot August afternoon,
we abandoned our plans for elegance—
and even white—found our own way to wear
the years, let the roses be what they are.


“When What Lives Will Thrive” originally appeared in the anthology Limbs of the Pine, Peaks of the Range, Rose Alley Press.