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The Rose Garden
by Christopher Ingram

I was born on the cusp of Lancaster
And York, a border child touched;
No . . . tainted,
By the warring roses of white and red
That battle constantly for possession
Of the eternal kingdom of my spirit.

A child of my time, incarcerated
In the prison of work, duty, success,
I have sought release in the ideal world
Of my romantic imagination.
The white rose of my seeming innocence
Spattered and tinged with Aphrodite's blood
Shed in her quest for Adonis's soul.

But you, I have seen you in my mind's eye,
Standing still and free in the rose garden
Of Eliot's endless possibility.
You place a budding rose of Burgundy
Of simplicity, unconscious beauty,
Carefully in your wispy breeze blown hair,
While I stand on the garden's edge,
In the misty shrouds of imagination
Holding a wilting moss rose, my confession
Of guilty love of my Aphrodite
Who'll not see me as she quests to be free.

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