By any name known

I said out loud I'd tell about roses; not one turned its head. I name two: The untamed Cherokee that showers white moons blindly anywhere and American Beauty, confident as Stars and Stripes. New hybrids appear each year, accidental or select. Note the contradictions of an ordinary rose: stemslick, grained, prickly, veined and sharp as a tack. Its bud goes from young glory to blown age in measureless sessions of change. It's easy to describe tree rose as aristocrat but what can you do with the common crowd? There was that scratch bunch at the edge of a shopping mall, hot concrete festering under the sun; wild unchosen nobodies, flashy as a lighted match in the eye. Those who keep roses know the penalty of thorns. The rasp of repair.

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