What’s in a rose?

By Prajakta Paranjpe

I was the rose, or was I
because was it only those whose blood
matched mine who saw me in rosy color
because my own crimson tears burned as I was unloved
because I wanted to be more
than a beautiful part
to be played by nothing but a body,
the beauty fully my own, nor my only petal.
Plucking each one, I sat
every day a Valentine’s day
I love me I love me not.
I have it but I’d rather
have it not.
Beauty was a thorn I saw
pricking in wanting eyes
wanting to kill the rose
that was, untouched, inside.
Sweet camaraderie of the humble jasmine
a lone long stemmed rose could never win.
Who would’ve known
that a rose is so always alone?
Now that the seasons have faded,
I may bloom.

Prajakta Paranjpe grew up in India, loving languages and soaking them in through their colorful literature: Marathi, Hindi, English, Sanskrit and German. She enjoys writing and translating to make cultural bridges between countries. She obtained MA and M.Phil. from University of Pune, followed by Ed.M. in English Education from Rutgers. At home, bossing around her son to speak more Marathi gets her nowhere, but she revels in his English vocabulary at ten, which far exceeds her own when she was twice his age.

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