I Am Not An English Rose

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English rose

English rose

As a flower I grew thorns to protect

All the years that I have spent

Waiting for a dream man to appear;

A perfect man with sweet blond hair.

Would he even want a flower so dark?

Would he deign to seek me in my corner of the park?

Or would he run to the greenhouse bright,

Where English roses are always white?

These thorns of mine are a defence from thieves:

One unwanted touch, and I  make them bleed.

Those racist men who once forced me to fight,

Are the ones who now say I don’t look right.

But my roots are black, my foundations are strong.

So I stopped waiting for the perfect man. I’d got it all wrong.

And when my petals fell out, my head was bare.

The cold revealed how the men just didn’t care.

I grew wild and free, with roots so deep;

My tendrils stretched out.  I increased my reach.

The White roses shook when they at last could see

This dark, bald flower had grown into a tree.

I am an English Oak, magical and brown.

No racist man can cut me down.

I shelter the other flowers in the park:

The beautiful blooms that grow around my bark.

I don’t know how this overlooked dark flower

Became a sturdy tree with so much power.

I have not forgotten my  lowly birth,

As a mighty Oak, I tower upon the Earth.

The White roses have faded, some of my sisters have died.

This Oak reigns queen in the forest.

From the humble earth, to the endless sky.

 

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