A Rose

Kira Dawson

Every day on the walk to my grandmother's front door, I stopped to smell every rose that I could reach on her three rose bushes. The sweet scent curled over my nostrils as I inhaled deeply, careful not to let my chubby fingers near the sharp thorns. My mother comes up from behind me and tries to hurry me along. She is late to work and I can smell the roses all day long if I want to. She does not have time to stop and smell the roses.

An Illusion

As I grew older, the roses seemed to get smaller and smaller. They were far less pretty and sweet smelling than I remembered. They became a game to see which cousin could push through the bushes and not cry from the thorns digging into soft skin and tangling in long hair. The roses changed and became an enemy. They became something we had to fight and claw to get free. They held us back from what we wanted. We did not have time to stop and smell the roses.

Growing Up

My grandmother lost that house when I was a teenager. My grandfather lost his job and they could not afford to live there anymore; the bank took it back. We all helped her move into her new house. There was a distinct lack of roses. But roses came to mean so much more to me. Once a sweet smelling flower, a game, and now loss. When my grandmother stood in front of her rose bushes, crying, I hurried past her with a box. I did not have time to stop and smell the roses.