05 September 2016

Lavender Roses

Couldn’t keep him alive and with me. 
They tried, I think.

Everyday, buckets of lavender roses—
sirens of scent, soft-hued petals of gentleness—
lined the path home.  And I bought at least one a day,
panicking at their rare and ominous absence.

Lavender roses were not native to Berkeley, California—
neither was I—but he was native enough to
accept a daily bloom without wonder at
reversed gender roles or the need for flowers.

No wonder that days when I was penniless,
vendors would hand me the precious rose as I passed.
No wonder that since he died, lavender roses
disappeared—or was it I who left their magic behind?

I moved to the busy East Coast of America,
toured Canada and Mexico as much as New England
where I was most at home.  Restless, I roamed sea shores
and mountains until too tired to move anymore.

In love’s bouquet gathered throughout my life, he was
the lavender roses, the color of calm wealth
amid the baby’s breath, chrysanthemum and stock,
the carnations, daisies, tulips and snapdragons.

The dry petals—scentless and brown—that lie in glass
and cardboard peace, the dead contents of my china
cabinet—trigger lively memories in which
I still carry lavender roses to my love. 

Rose in Violet.jpg

My blog poems are rough drafts.
Please respect my copyright.

© 2016 Susan L. Chast


  1. words fragrant with love make the poem as beautiful as the lavender rose....

  2. Oh wow, my new favourite of yours. I can see you, carrying that rose every day going home.....sigh......"throughout my life, he was the lavender roses...." Too gorgeous and poignant for words - but you found them, and they are perfect.

  3. Such an elegant picture you drew. Thank you for this

  4. the dead contents of my china
    cabinet—trigger lively memories in which
    I still carry lavender roses to my love

    How everlasting the feelings of love that are maintained in memory!


  5. Wow..poignant and beautiful...so much emotion here.

  6. How poignant this poem is bringing back the memories of times past. How we yearn for those reminders which make us ache but cannot part with,

  7. This is so beautifully written. Full of heartfelt emotions.
    My new favorite poem of yours :)

  8. Beautifully poignant.. I think it touched a chord or two ❤ xo

  9. He was your rich garden, the great love of your life...Constantly moving to rid yourself of the pain of the loss of him never erased the lasting memory.The intensity of this love is palpable...a beautiful and moving poem.

  10. "sirens of scent"
    what a phrase!!! Nice poem

    much love...

  11. Yes there is the key kept safe and sweet - we love how carefully you have protected that lavender rose

  12. Those lavender roses - the stuff of memories. Some love lasts decades & can never be replicated. It is good to have beautiful mementos of what once was.

  13. This is beautiful, the second to last stanza absolutely gorgeous. One of my favorites of yours - he was the Lavender Rose..

  14. I never saw a lavender rose Susan. This was like a page from your heart my friend! Wonderful!

  15. Isn't it amazing what can trigger memories?

  16. lavender blue dilly dilly' lavender green'...beautiful story scented colorful and emotional...

  17. Just so poignant and filled with emotions. I can imagine lavender rose turned brown in the china cabinet. Beautifully expressed. Loved it Susan.

  18. A wonderful poem, Susan, of roses and memories, words redolent with perfume. The sense of loss is achingly conveyed in your poem.


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