THE RED ROSE

The bookmark in my Bible,
Is a flower from my past,
It has lasted many years,
It's preserved in isinglass.

It represents so many things,
I hardly know where to begin,
A reminder of those special times,
That will not come again.

A redder rose you'll never find,
It has not faded with the years,
It's well protected and well watered,
By, I guess, a million tears.

My mother loved red roses,
Every year she grew a few
Just outside our kitchen window,
She knew we needed such a view.

We called them Mama's roses,
She specialized in red,
Red roses were a sign of love,
Is what she always said.

She'd pick one and put it in a jar,
Upon our kitchen counter,
A sign of love, again she said,
This time she stressed it louder.


She chose a jar and not a vase,
To be the rose container,
She said the content of the jar,
Was worth more than its retainer.

Mom found a special rose for me,
When I was confirmed at ten,
And I got a new white dress,
And a new white Bible then.

That's when Mama took my rose,
As a token of her heart,
And had it permanently sealed,
To be my prized bookmark.

Then, there were red roses in a cluster,
I remember, at sixteen,
My first corsage; my high school prom,
I was so grown up, it seemed.

When I danced at church fiestas,
I'd wave a rose with grace,
Then I'd coyly dropped my eyes,
Behind a fan held to my face.

My tiara, made of roses,
Was a final complement,
I learned to juggle fan and flower,
In time to castanets.

Twelve long stemmed red roses,
Marked my first romance,
I received them in a long, white box,
I hugged them to me, and I danced.

My wedding day, so happy,
So filled with tears and smiles,
I stepped upon rose petals,
As I moved slowly down the aisle.

The night my baby girl was born,
We counted ten fingers and ten toes,
My husband gave me many blooms,
I gave him one - named Rose.

The following year, my mother died,
A blanket of rosebuds on her bier,
I broke one off and brought it home,
I held it tenderly - so dear.

I rummaged through my kitchen cabinets,
'Til a jar materialized,
Then I placed the little rose within,
And set it down before my eyes.

I kept that very rose alive,
For quite a long, long time,
Through the glass I watched its stem,
Until at last, the flower died.

My daughter now saves all the jars,
I've seen her study them and mutter,
"Mom, do you like jelly glasses,
Or do you want peanut butter?"

That jar containing one red rose,
Which Mother put in place,
Was to call attention to the flower,
Not to the flower vase.

And my bookmark with the sealed-in-rose,
Marks a chosen Bible passage,
Mom was right; it is the content,
And not the outside package.

I'm sure when Mom reached heaven,
Her least concern was how she looked,
God only wants what is inside,
And not the cover on the book.

Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Ccopyright 2000



 

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Original music composed and copyrighted © 2000
by Bruce DeBoer
Used With Permission.