Roots

Written by: DAVID ELLSWORTH

They came yesterday, early as dawn itself

They came with shovels and trowels

To give protection from the winter

To the rose bushes that you loved

Shortly after lunch I heard Oliver barking

It was his angry bark, his sound of offense

For the worker was digging and exhumed

Your scarf from the tangled roots of roses

 

I gave the scarf to Connie, I remember

She was little then, five or so 

And she visited to ask for something of yours

To keep and remember

When she went home and her mother asked

What she had done at our house

She said, “I just sat on his lap

And helped him cry.”

 

It comes to me now, later she asked 

About the scarf again and I assumed she lost it

But now there was the evidence

Oliver also had a need to remember

And put his souvenir of you

Beneath the bushes you so loved

And the workman held the scarf to me

And I told him, “Put it back.”

 

He comes to me at night

It is his ritual of companionship

Sad-eyed and with mournful whimpering

He comes to my arms and licks my hand

And we are together before the fireplace

Watching shadows dance across the walls

Each remembering the moments that were ours

Each guarding a part of you in the roots of us