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Withered Roses

by Shayla Lanae Weatherhead

How lonely it must be, To be cast out in the shade To watch every other flower

Be sung praises Be kissed by the sunshine Nurtured by loving hands Nourished by kind words

How awful it must be To fight just to breathe Exhausted by the constant Lifting up of wilted stem Like spine Held to a standard of “Too tough to cry” The confusion and pain Of having to make sense Of the rain And why it has been so necessary For your growth

They will not water you I promise It is you That must take your roots And dig Until you hit the core That is where life is That is where love is That is where YOU are Harrow, and plow And spade Until you crack open the darkness And soak up the light

They left you on the outskirts My love, While the other flowers Are primed and groomed For blooming Safe in that greenhouse Of kind words And love And encouragement And praise And everything else you have not been given But have had to reach for And provide for yourself

I know sometimes it can be much Your mere existence Seemingly like a daily fight For survival

But soak up that rain when it comes Stretch your stem straight up And face the sun The light burns But it also heals Dig your roots Firmly planted And take up all the space You deserve to take up space

Oh my love, The driest flower Down-trodden Forgotten

Neglected Never loved Respected Nor protected Yet grew Above them all

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