The Marquis had loved roses, once. When the roses did not love him.
Once they began to bend towards him, so also did they begin to wilt.
The wilted rose gives no scent but rot. The only solution is a deadheading.
They grow with far more beauty the following year, then. As though rising
From the red of the spilled petals.
The Marquis had loved his garden, once. When his garden did not love him.
When there was no longer any toil to it, when it was only the sweet rain that
Nourished it and not the sweat from his brow, so did it begin its fall to ruin.
So to ruin he let it go. Now the statues weep with mossy eyes, and the
Fountains sit still and stagnant.
The Marquis had loved thorns, once. When the thorns still pricked him.
He spent his days struggling against brambles, screaming at the way they
Tore him, but when they were released he missed it. He longed for that
Choking embrace. In time, he found it again.
The Marquis loves roses again, they say.
And he grips them so hard he could dye the petals himself with what runs
From the thorns.


by Thomas Boyle

(prompts: Thorn / Crumble / Yet the roses are not less lovely for all that)

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