Forcing Roses
by Ranney Campbell

tent and keep clement
  cover, secure,

                  and wait

bathe in warm water

                                             give a sharp cut

  set aside
in a vase

upon your return, blow
          into the closed

  reflex and pull
          and pour
your heated water
   into her

                 let gravity
               spread petals

untouched by your hand

                                       then quickly upend her
let drain
to ready

run your fingers
      between the folds into crevices
and gently
tips tracing
     the ruffles
                           circling open

A version of this poem was originally published by The Main Street Rag. 

PAINTING: Roses by Vincent van Gogh (1890).

RanneyCampbell copy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ranney Campbell earned an MFA in fiction from the University of Missouri at St. Louis and lives in Southern California. Her poetry has been published by Misfit Magazine, Shark Reef and others, and is forthcoming in the Rat’s Ass Review and Haight Ashbury Literary Journal. Her chapbook, Pimp, is published by Arroyo Seco Press.