Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

“A Rose By Any Other Name”

Book Excerpt: The Garden of Fragile Beings

A Rose By Any Other Name

It blooms white on the CT scan —
small fist, opaque rose, unfurling where
the vessel is shorn inside
the infant’s brain.

I look from images, white with breakage in
wrong places, evidence of violent acts,
to the father — only a boy really, eyes dark-circled
and weary and it is easier to believe

almost anything else. I think
of shriveled spheres of red-black petals
saved in a jar when I was a girl
now aged to the color of old blood.

Why must I move from injury to roses;
trauma to love, my mind
unhanding one for the other as if good
cancels this, metaphor necessary

like religion. Still, this rose, this white
wrongness in the frontal lobe, will take him,
once the swelling begins and I have written of flowers
instead of weeping.

“A Rose By Any Other Name”

Copyright (c) 2019 by Carolyn Welch. All rights reserved. Carolyn Welch is a writer and a pediatric nurse practitioner. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Gulf Coast, Poet Lore, Bellevue Literary Review, Sundog,Tar River Poetry, The Southeast Review, The Minnesota Review, and other literary journals. She lives in Norris, Tennessee.