(After Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, 1786-1859)
This morning I wished to bring you a gift of roses,
But I put so many in my belt which closes,
That the tightened knots could not contain them there,
And burst asunder. Winglike, the roses flew,
Borne on the wind out to sea, away from view,
Tossed by the water, fated to disappear.
The waves, adorned with red, were a flaming farewell.
Tonight, beneath my sash, their fragrance lingers still.
Breathe then, in me a scented souvenir.
© Alice Park 1999