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Submitted on
April 20, 2012
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You love too much, I am told by a man with a briar heart, thorny sinews and collapsed ventricles bearing down on him, hardly beating in his tight chest. He looks at me with flat, slate eyes, chipping and eroding. His hands are dark with cigarette burns and rough with calluses; I feel them on my shoulders as he looks down at me, face collapsing in at his eyes like a dead man's.

For the first time, I realize he is dead. His briar heart dried up when winter killed his rose; my father, he is all thorns.

He squeezes my shoulders, too tight. You look like your mother, you know, he whispers, eyes shifting to the garden, to the yellow rose I planted for her. It is a rambler, sending shoots to the sky that sink back down. We never gave it a trellis. I loved her too much. And there are tears in his eyes, wet, heavy things that slip down his cheeks and on to the grass below us.

I don't know what to say, so I think of the rose, of her. I think that I'd like to send this year's flowers out to sea, so the petals can sink in the ocean and settle over her eyelids, wherever she is. And I'm crying, too, because my mother is in pieces, in the ocean, and my father is every bit as dead as she is.

I did, too, and I smile a little, bat away my tears with tight fists. But I don't regret it –I love everyone as much as I love her, instead. She'd like that. She always told me I had a big heart, and that I should share it. I smile more, because I remember telling my mother once. She had just hugged me; we both knew I would get hurt. I love everyone –everyone I'll ever meet, I want to give a piece of myself to. Whether it is physical or just something inside me that no one can see; I want people to know they are loved.

He drops his hands, looks at me, and wipes his eyes. You're going to get hurt.

Yeah, I am. Mom told me. I'm okay with that.

I hug him quickly, then pull away. I walk over to the rose, dig my thumbnail into the stem just below a blossom, and twist until the flower comes off into my hand. My father looks at me, lights a cigarette, then puts it out under his foot when he sees me coming back.

I tell him to hold out his hands, and he does. I place the blossom into his palms. She loves you and I do, too.
Fiction and non-fiction meet again.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2012-12-10
Roses by *AlloenDreams Suggester Writes: Desperately sad yet brimming with hope, the imagery is superb and the message a vitally important one. ( Suggested by LadyofGaerdon and Featured by Beccalicious )
coralsky123 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2014   Traditional Artist
This was absolutely beautiful. I am very sorry for your loss. 
Gobba42 Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2013  Student Writer
Dear Lord, this is beautiful.  Did the mother literally die at sea or is that a metaphor?
AlloenDreams Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013
thank you :heart:

my mother actually died at home under hospice care because of cancer and various complications, but was cremated and her ashes were put in the ocean of the town i grew up in for the first eleven years of my life, because she was happiest and healthiest then.
Gobba42 Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013  Student Writer
Oh I see.  Thank you, its very beautiful.  I'm sorry for your loss.
LadyofGaerdon Featured By Owner May 15, 2013  Professional Writer
:wave: Hi! Your piece has been featured as inspiration in #Lit-Visual-Alliance's Spring Alliance Contest article! Please :+fav: the article to bring more attention to the features and the contest. Thanks! :)
AlloenDreams Featured By Owner May 26, 2013
i'm sorry i'm responding so late --our internet was out for a while, and work has kept me pretty busy. but, thank you so much for the feature :heart:

how have you been lately? i've missed you :heart:
KazuAC Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012   Traditional Artist
Beautifully done! Love it!!!!!!
AlloenDreams Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012
thank you! :heart:
whimandwonder Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is so wonderful. Captivating imagery and metaphor. So much hope and goodness.
AlloenDreams Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012
ah, thank you! i worried that the positive message behind it might have been lost -i'm glad to know it wasn't :heart:
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