Astounding Beauty Ruffian Press
2015 WINNER: The Consolation of Roses
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2015 Astounding Beauty Ruffian Press Poetry Award

The Consolation of Roses
by Judith Waller Carroll

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Judith Waller Carroll recalls her childhood home and the relationships and experiences from a  time that helped shape her life. A slender volume of poetry which is a work of art, inside and out.

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Judith Waller Carroll's work appears in Persimmon Tree,
Naugatuck River Review, and Heron Tree, among other journals.
She lives in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas.


The Consolation of Roses  

So fragile, their perfume, 
as soft as the breeze that barely 
rustles the leaves.  

How lovingly you tended your garden
that last summer in Columbus, your refuge
from Daddy’s benders and my teenage moods.   

How you blossomed among the sweet peas 
and zinnias, the columns of holly hocks 
climbing up the gray planks of the barn. 

But especially the roses, your babies, 
how you crooned and coaxed
the reticent buds into champion blooms. 

I remember none of the names,
only a few of the colors—
yellow, dusty pink, and a delicate coral,  

your favorite, the shade of a slightly bruised 
peach, with a hopeful hint of red.  

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