Apryl Fox has been published previously in Word Riot, Verse Libre Quarterly, Strange
and A Little Poetry, with an upcoming publication in Dark Animus. She currently resides in North Carolina, and
has published a book of poems called
This Ain't No Paradise.
Shaking Hands With a Rose
You stand at the base of the tree,
mouth slackened, eating a rose.
I have not seen you in ages.
The acorns are ripe. I hear them
plop to the ground, they are littering the world.
Oh, you litterbugs! How dear you are
to me, I have been waiting for you
to burrow yourself into the earth
and rise in a song. Little sapling,
my dear litterbug, you have been
Five fingers on a single hand.
Skin as red as a northern rose.
Pock-marks, blisters of the sun,
the sapling is as hard as rock.
Here is my hand for someone to shake.
Here is my voice, speaking so quietly,
telling you which hands to draw with.
I've shaken so many roses that I've
lost touch with pantomime.
If only it were autumn, I'd hear the beat,
of fallen leaves, and their tiny dancing feet,
as they pick up strands of broken bones,
and sing sad songs on xylephones.
The sky, a tremble of dark gray,
whispers lovingly to the wind: it is no longer day,
and here, here I am, one broken friend,
with a heartfelt letter that I must send,
as the boats move slowly across the stormy bay.
© Apryl Fox