Roses in December

“Roses for sale five dollars a bunch.”  The hand-lettered sign proclaims from his station across the street from the local train depot where weary travelers head to work in a blur of colors and odors.  He’s there still for the five o’clock rush, patient with his flowers, pacing off the cold, a steaming cup of coffee warming his hands.

Even on Sunday, he huddles beneath his beach umbrella as we cross the tracks late for church, cursing the signal lights and the candy cane arm that swings down before us.  A driver slows and waits by the side of the road for The Rose Man to dash up with a bouquet before speeding away at the last second.

I acknowledge The Rose Man with a nod of my head as the train blasts through.  He looks me in the eye; refuses my sympathy.  Thickened stems caress crumpled bills through fingerless gloves.  "Where can he find roses in December?" I ask as the candy cane arm lifts and we proceed to church, passing him again on the way after.  I put my hand to the glass, little fingerprints reaching out but not quite touching the lovely snowman as he sells his wares on a frosty December Sunday.

This was from a larger poem, written several years ago.  I edited it for this week's Write on Edge prompt.

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Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Roses in December

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Roses in December

“Roses for sale five dollars a bunch.”  The hand-lettered sign proclaims from his station across the street from the local train depot where weary travelers head to work in a blur of colors and odors.  He’s there still for the five o’clock rush, patient with his flowers, pacing off the cold, a steaming cup of coffee warming his hands.

Even on Sunday, he huddles beneath his beach umbrella as we cross the tracks late for church, cursing the signal lights and the candy cane arm that swings down before us.  A driver slows and waits by the side of the road for The Rose Man to dash up with a bouquet before speeding away at the last second.

I acknowledge The Rose Man with a nod of my head as the train blasts through.  He looks me in the eye; refuses my sympathy.  Thickened stems caress crumpled bills through fingerless gloves.  "Where can he find roses in December?" I ask as the candy cane arm lifts and we proceed to church, passing him again on the way after.  I put my hand to the glass, little fingerprints reaching out but not quite touching the lovely snowman as he sells his wares on a frosty December Sunday.

This was from a larger poem, written several years ago.  I edited it for this week's Write on Edge prompt.

Labels: ,

7 Comments:

At October 7, 2011 at 3:42 AM , Anonymous sweetbutterbliss said...

That sounds so sad. I want to buy some roses from him now.

 
At October 7, 2011 at 6:38 AM , Anonymous katieross83 said...

Oh, my heart breaks for him. I pictured him so perfectly though...I love the feelings you evoked from me. I want to find The Rose Man and give him a hug.

 
At October 7, 2011 at 12:46 PM , Anonymous Sara said...

I think you did a good job of describing the location of the Rose Man. I liked your description of the candy cane arm of the train guard and how the train blasts past. I also loved the depot "where weary travelers head to work in a blue of colors and odors."

As far as the Rose Man, you also did a great job of helping me picture him. I like your words, "Thickened stems caress crumpled bills through fingerless gloves."

This was an interesting read. I'd love to see the entire poem:/`(

 
At October 7, 2011 at 12:47 PM , Anonymous Galit Breen said...

Poor guy! So very sad- hauntingly so.

 
At October 7, 2011 at 2:06 PM , Anonymous Elizabeth Young said...

Lovely, I enjoyed the poignant way in which you wrote about this situation. The candy cane arm fits in so beautifully with the December theme.

 
At October 7, 2011 at 9:20 PM , Anonymous Cheryl said...

I like this. he is an interesting character, you wonder what his story is.

 
At October 8, 2011 at 5:28 AM , Anonymous MISH said...

You painted the picture of a proud man who is not afraid of hard work . Very interesting location as well .

 

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