You came to me from rose vermilion red;
so rude and flushed with health you seemed to be.
I was surprised when I discerned instead
your disposition was no longer free;
that, whilst you were so moist and soft, I then
with sadness realised your life was spent;
that you had chosen me as your last fen
between your zenith and your final rent.
What price for love you had to pay, and stain
upon your beauteous journey through short life,
so full of human tragedy and pain;
so savaged by our ugliness and strife.
And yet, you gift us your perfume unkempt
and beauty, which our hideousness preempts.
© 2011 John Anstie
(Read the author’s commentary on this poem)