I don’t recall why, but we tried everything we could think of to kill that old rose bush. It might have been fifty years old, or a hundred, or ten it really didn’t matter, for some reason the roses had to go. So it was hacked down to a blunt knot barely an inch above ground. Before summer could close its books there were little green tits of rose springing at every angle from the hackled stump. So we chopped it again, below ground this time, covered it and left no trace. Spring thaw …crocuses, tulips, buds on trees, and little green tits of rose. My father laughed and suggested napalm, a very 70′s solution. So we got lighter fluid, matches, and created our own Apocalypse Now; less than a stump, charred to a cinder, splintered to ash and buried again. Autumn rain …leaves clogging gutters, dormant grass going brown, again little green tits of rose. So we attacked its roots with spades and flashing ax. Digging deep and slashing at the waxy tendrils that fed this beast. And when a year had past without green tits we marked the spot with sod. We sold that house after our parents died. Having scattered to lives of our own none of us had the will to keep it in the family line. Decades passed and returning home became a funereal affair. The last was to bury one of my own. Having buried parents, siblings and friends from youth could not, did not prepare me for the sight of my child’s casket lowered into the grave, handfuls of dirt tossed in after. I watch as roses are laid at the graveside or dropped in that deep arid hole. And looking at the rose in my hand I understand fathomless remorse, for my child buried, and the beauty I have kept from this world.