©2019 by Canvas Literary Journal

Published by Cosmographia Books

Background art “Camouflage” by Hyung Jin Lee

Canvas logo by Ali Wrona

When the Rose Bloomed

Anna Carson

Autumn 2019

How long had it been since the rose had bloomed?

Surely the last time was millennia ago, when rain fell from the

sky like falling diamonds,
as clear and hard and certain as ignorance.
Many years, countless, when the grass was as green as naïveté

and the garden still harbored hope for a sunny morning.

But now the stone held like stubborn, a grey and demanding

wall that never rested.
A tower that screamed at its inhabitants bustling
in, out, in and out, up and down

to hurry or stop and keep moving for as long as possible.

How long had it been since the rose had bloomed?


At least a week, a worrisome week.
The petals as lifeless as knowledge,
the stem a gritty green.
Seven days of lost luck and blissful torture,
for the soil was undoubtedly screaming in the rotting water that

chained its twisted roots.

How long had it been since the rose had bloomed?


Centuries of desert dry,
a land that hadn’t seen life
until a bud of blood dripped hot and wet upon the bones of

When earth still held innocence like a
child holds rain on the tip of the tongue,
the way snow rests light and icy on the fir tree’s branch.
When the flower didn’t cry tears of lost joy,

when the wind was as clean and crisp as the child’s laugh,

when life was long and unfettered.
When refusal to see the obvious was but a dream,

That was when the flower bloomed.

When the marigold opened its eyes and the lily unfurled,

when the poppy reached toward morning dew and
a bright future and
a chance at living a happy life.

When did the rose bloom?


It bloomed at love and birth and new beginnings.

As sun rays laughed at daydream imaginings,

verdant bones straighten and
color blossoms like excitement for the new day.


That is when the rose bloomed.

It bloomed years ago,
in the time of lost aspirations and dreary nightmares,
it was the crimson sight on which we latched in desperate need

of comfort.

But we have not seen the rose bloom for a very long time.

And I doubt we ever will.

Anna Carson is a senior at the American International School in Israel. She hates math and loves reading, unless it’s Shakespeare, and plans on becoming a journalist one day if she doesn’t become a writer first.