Hanging In There

Hanging In There

Hanging in There
(for Shelley)

She stopped the car, got out and picked two roses
From an overhanging, unclipped hedge
Beside a waist-high gate with honeysuckle beyond.

Back in the car she gave one rose stem to me.
Its three flopping Degas ballerinas in palest pink
Shivered and quivered but held their pose.

I’ve had them in a vase for two days now
And only tonight have five petals fallen.
The rest continue to pose, exhausted and enchanted,
As though they danced all night with enthralled strangers

And have fallen asleep in the taxi home,
Their pale petals drooping but not falling,
And an almost hidden smile on their pink lips.
**

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