Roses for Rose

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** The product of an afternoon stroll in my local park; a park that holds the loving memories of many who also loved to walk amongst the foliage. – LY. **

He didn’t want to shake the cold from his joints; stretch his fingers and knees that grow stiffer with each breath of dawn.

He didn’t want to roll over and open his eyes to skies that were struck grey on that day, and have been varying shades of grey ever since.

He didn’t want me to fix his ritual brew of Earl; with a dash of skimmed milk, and a fairy dust of demerara.

He didn’t want a serving of toast sunk in butter; or is it the butter that drowns in the toast? “Not hungry,” was all I caught as he pushed the plate away because she loved her toast drowning, too.

He didn’t want to shrug on his raincoat, but I insisted that he remember the last thing that took her. He pulled it on at the thought of the damned word he hated saying and didn’t care to try to spell. He has never accepted that pneumonia starts with a ‘p’.

He didn’t want to take the car, and shoved the keys deep into his corduroys that are thinning at the knees, but he claims to be as new as the day he bought them in the 90’s.

He did want to pick the bunch himself; never mind the thorns that pricked his skin as he picked each stem. Steady hands remained firm that no amount of pinches will stop Rose having roses.

He laid and tied them in a corner, and sat in the other; the one she always perched in when we used to reach the top of that arduous hill. He didn’t want to cry, but salt blended with loss, and rained with heaven-dropped droplets.

He did want to hold hands on our way home. And I held his, hoping he won’t have to feel the slack grip of another daughter’s grasp before he makes his voyage to his final abode.

© LaYinka Sanni, January 2015.

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