For the Love of a Rose Garden
Yellow maple-leaves cart-wheeled
Pursued by shadows of autumn light
across the sloping lawns.
Red iridescence swayed.
Following an inflamed heart
My eyes found
Jantzen Girl, a single blossom,
Among the rosehips
of Fragrant Memory, Carefree Beauty,
and Pleasure Floribunda.
Holding his arm
She found steps among the flagstones
of the terraced beds.
A smile graced mahogany lips with graying beard.
Mothers talked while pushing strollers
With buntings, pink and blue and white
open in the mid-day warmth.
Small talons wedged in crevices of sloughing bark
As squirrels circled to evade the views
Of the parade below.
But the children
Could not hide
From the shrapnel
That was sharing my bounty
Halfway around this earth.
-- © Phillip Gregg 2004
Phillip Gregg taught political science and public administration for 33 years and recently retired from the University of Illinois at Springfield where he is an emeritus professor. He enjoys walking in Washington Park and the trails of Lake Springfield, especially in the autumn sun.
People's Poetry accepts poems on any subject, but ones that deal with issues of local interest are encouraged. Send yours to Books and Poetry Editor Corrine Frisch c/o Illinois Times, P.O. Box 5256, Springfield, IL 62705, or to email@example.com with "People's Poetry" in the subject line.