Monday 28 February 2022


by Joan Leotta

I’d like to age like this year’s Valentine roses, now past their expected prime but still beautiful. Bouquets from previous years have withered, died after a week, but these go on and on, walking in beauty as if each day they salute sunrise with their own pollen. A few have browned at the edges of their orange-yellow splendorous petals. Yes, the leaves have browned and crackle like paper, but the roses themselves are not only lovely but are now exuding an aroma strong enough to pulse through the dining room into the kitchen, to wrap me in its heady scent of love remembered, each time I sit down for my morning coffee. It seems to me that scent, so rare in purchased hothouse roses, is even stronger now than when the roses first came home with my husband’s grin. When I stroke a velvet petal, I think again, how I want to age like these roses—soft yet strong with the aroma of love even in old age.

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Joan Leotta tells stories on page and stage. Her poems, essays, articles, and short stories have been or are forthcoming in Visual Vee, Verse Virtual, Plague Papers, Writing in a Woman’s Voice, Pine Song and others. She has been a Tupelo 30/30 writer and a Gilbert Chappell Fellow.
She performs personal and folk tales of food, family, and strong women in libraries, at schools, in museums and at festivals. To relax and think up new tales she walks the beach, collecting shells. You can connect with her on Facebook. Joan Leotta.