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Roses this October
burnt red like plague posies —
rash for the world’s fever,
a curse on our houses.

But then you were born in
the season’s strange mildness.
My heart rose as you rose
in my arms, small witness.

With your nails as tiny
as droplets of spittle,
and your fragile mouth that
is like a dropped petal.

In far away lands there
are poor babies crying,
with milk-coloured eyes
that the black flies are circling,

and tree-tops are falling,
the birds falling with them.
The season is bleak but
new life can still blossom.

The October roses
burn, burn in the darkness.
Beautiful despite, no,
because of their lateness.