Withered Roses

by Shayla Lanae Weatherhead

How lonely it must be,
To be cast out in the shade
To watch every other flower

Be sung praises
Be kissed by the sunshine
Nurtured by loving hands
Nourished by kind words

How awful it must be
To fight just to breathe
Exhausted by the constant
Lifting up of wilted stem
Like spine
Held to a standard of
“Too tough to cry”
The confusion and pain
Of having to make sense
Of the rain
And why it has been so necessary
For your growth

They will not water you
I promise
It is you
That must take your roots
And dig
Until you hit the core
That is where life is
That is where love is
That is where YOU are
Harrow, and plow
And spade
Until you crack open the darkness
And soak up the light

They left you on the outskirts
My love,
While the other flowers
Are primed and groomed
For blooming
Safe in that greenhouse
Of kind words
And love
And encouragement
And praise
And everything else you have not been given
But have had to reach for
And provide for yourself

I know sometimes it can be much
Your mere existence
Seemingly like a daily fight
For survival

But soak up that rain when it comes
Stretch your stem straight up
And face the sun
The light
But it also heals
Dig your roots
Firmly planted
And take up all the space
You deserve to take up space

Oh my love,
The driest flower

Never loved
Nor protected
Yet grew
Above them all