The Rosebush

The old house stood as a sentry of

time. The sagging porch hadn’t welcomed

anyone for many years. Only the wind

broke the eerie silence surrounding the

house and the neighborhood. Inside, the

walls and ceilings were patched, the floorboards

worn and uneven.

 

As the woman looked on, a rat scurried

from under the door to a hole in the

cracked foundation. Soon bulldozers would

level this condemned area.

 

The woman pushed open the gate to the

backyard where one single rosebush, covered

with roses, bloomed expansively. She pulled

a few weeds, smelled the blooms, and smiled

to herself as  she remembered planting

the bush. It had been here bit of

heaven,  her only luxury, a precious moment

of which she thought of as a victory,

a spot of beauty in this slum.

 

Her home was just a shanty, but it

was her domain.  She had spoken to

her rosebush, sharing ideas and stories of

ambitions and failures. She felt a closeness

seldom experienced for anything else around

the place.

 

Come the dawn she had no place to go.

Her few belonging  could be placed in a

handbag.

 

Her faded brown eyes filled with tears

that fell on the roses. She couldn’t even

take her rosebush-her one last joy. It was

doomed to be buried under the rumble.

The curse of poverty had pursued her

year after year and she had yielded to

despondency at times.

 

The one joy in  her life would be gone,

now that the roof over her head would

be destroyed. Sudden burst of loneliness

overwhelmed her; She felt helpless and

forlorn. She lingered for a few moments,

fondly  looking at the flowers and

inhaling their sweet smell.

 

The bulldozers came, rattling thier

iron tracks, pushing and leveling, tearing

down trees and houses. New owners and

old residents each thought they were

in the right. She wonder, “Does progress

justify the suffering it creates?” The

woman watched from afar as the rosebush

was crushed in the ground. Broken were

the stems, and broken was her heart. She

cried silent tears, with no one to lend a

helping hand, no one to want her.

 

Why  couldn’t they restore and repair, and

ease a few lives, she thought. As she slowly

turned around clutching her bag to her

chest, she smelled the bloom she taken with her

the spicy fragrance still lingering. In her helplessness

she clenched and shook her small fist at the workers,

her only way of coping.

 

To her they were unknown people, humans

in inhuman ways. Reality did not compromise

to fit her needs and her and her aching heart. They

didn’t care. What’s a rosebush and a tree

to “progress” She wondered if they

would  ever learn that newer and modern

weren’t necessarily better.

 

A year past and the woman survived. Her

faith had faltered but survival made her

able to endure. One day in June, she

wandered past the old site, five-story

apartment buildings, structured with concrete,

submerged the old and broken neighborhood.

It looked impressive was all she could think.

 

This was the power of progress, not a

tree in sight! She wasn’t educated , but

knew that trees moderate temperatures,

absorb noise, and increase atmospheric moisture.

Yes, and she knew. Having reached the

long endeavor, she found exactly

where her house stood. She knew the block

from one end to the other. In the old day

she would sometimes walked the path,  to surprised herself.

There in all of it its glory and splendor, was the rosebush!

Bigger and more beautiful than ever, it was leaning

against a tall privacy fence.

 

She mused at the stories this bush could tell. It had the

ability  to pierce the earth with a single shoot and

bring perfection and beauty once again.

Like herself,  it had endured; stoutly set, just

just waiting to burst forth after

sunshine and God-given rain.

 

Gratitude touched her heart. Her sparse

dark brown hair was tossed by summer

wind as she shook her head in  wonder, and

in her eyes a spark of of joy set her painful

memory free forever free. The beauty of the

rosebush welcomed her. She felt peaceful

at the sight of both hope and life. Some things

are meant to be. She felt a kinship with the rosebush.

 

 

 

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