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  • Route 7 Review

Taylor Necko—Rose Ritual

House backed by Sippo Lake Park, forest trickled

into my grandparents’ backyard like dandelion seeds.

Oak trees, bumpy and brown bark, like pecans,

sheltered fresh cut grass from sun, ushering in

deer and chipmunks. A flourishing garden of pastel

hydrangeas, golden daffodils, magenta

wild phlox. Beside the door grew a trailing rose bush

back before my sister was born, back before

stepsiblings and significant others joined

the family. Narrow, olive green stems

were dotted with ruby roses, their teardrop petals

soft like spiderweb silk. Before leaving,

I pointed at the fullest

rose and listened to the snip

of my grandma’s scissors. She wrapped it

in damp newspaper to conceal

thorns, until I placed it

in a crystal vase on my dresser, where the sun

shone a spotlight on the rose, petals

extending outward—a child’s hand wishing

to be held forever.

The water yellowed.

The rose withered, wrinkles like smile lines

on my grandma’s face.

Each month of each year

I asked her for a new rose,

naïve in thinking

the bush would last forever.

Taylor Necko

Taylor Necko is a senior at Bowling Green State University majoring in Creative Writing. Much of her work is focused on human relationships and how they transform. Along with her major, she is double-minoring in Art and Word-Image. She is the editor in chief of Prairie Margins, her college’s undergraduate literary journal, and a writer for Her Campus. She has been previously published in Gabby and Min’s Literary Review and is soon to be published in the Oakland Arts Review.


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