the song of the rose

You can hear a musical version of this poem here

the song of the rose

my mother met my father
out where the saltbush grows
he asked her to be his lover
and she sang the song of the rose

the song of the rose is a sad song
of beauty alone on the plains
where the dry grasses bow and whisper
in the silence before the rains

they consumed their love that day
out where the saltbush grows
then left the plains for the city
but always remembered the rose

she sang of the last rose of summer
of endearing young charms growing old
did so much melancholy I wonder
betray sorrows unsung and untold

sometimes her soul went back alone
to the plains where the saltbush grows
where questions dissolved into dust
and darkened the glow of the rose

yet each time she would come back to us
up to her very last days
and she always marked her return
by planting  some favourite roses

I was with her as she lay dead
holding  a flower from the nurses
it seemed that she knew she was
back on the plains with her roses

to honour our golden wedding
we planted a yellow rose
thinking it would stand for
the fortune of love as it grows

and we thought of  that day long gone
out where the saltbush grows
when my parents vowed to be  lovers
and sang the song of the rose