Roses on high stems
have withered unopened.
Heads of every size,
red rose-heads have withered
on high, thorny stems
above the high walls of the garden.

We've arrived
with strings and drums
to sing the histories of roses
withered on thorny stems,
like poems stalled
in withered notebooks.

They wither unopened
among thickets of thorns
that sprawl above walls
piercing the sky.