She sat reading. Then this line, the sun rose yellow. She felt a warmth, it was rose and yellow, rose and yellow, as if a memory stirred. She waited, nothing, these colors must live inside me. I am Rose. I am Rose and the sun is yellow. This book is speaking to me. Her eyes moved to the window. I am never alone in these woods and there is little that draws me like this view. Rose her mother said, is the gift I gave you; you must find a way to flower. She planted her name along side the bluebells, delphiniums and larkspur, they flopped and tangled over her arbor, spent blossoms made a silky pink path. They grew on trellis nailed to the stucco cottage, thorns scraped her skin by the kitchen door sometimes catching her sweater. Dried bunches of pinks and reds hung on nails she hammered into the window frames, the crisp leaves gray, brittle. Glass jars held snapped off blooms, buds too small and tight to blossom. Not yet, she would say to the shriveling buds, drink and you will open. She carried leaves, black buds, fallen petals out to the garden where they belong. We must flourish she said aloud. We must open our faces to the sun and the wind.
Rose had her dogs. I’m not sure if I should have dogs with my gardens she said to Mary years ago. I would love the company, I love their fur and wet noses. Of course you should have dogs, Mary was so sure, if a garden can’t survive dogs its no garden. Mary arrived with Astor and Myrtle two weeks later. Corgi cross sisters. Rose wasn’t sure but they flourished.
The dogs slept by the fire. Rose held her wine glass. I love this time of night. The house is warm, I have a fire and my dogs, good red wine. The nights were colder and her roses looked sad. I can’t think about them I’m not God, they will die and I will die and the dogs will die, we will all die and then we will be fine. She took a long slow swallow and tasted a velvety bouquet of dark cherry. Mmmm. Death will be like this, a slow sweet descent, Rose smiled at her dogs. Don’t worry I won’t leave you.