A Rose in Winter

—for my mother, Mary Mraz Culleny,
b. December 8, 1917

Steeple rocket

a cathedral steeple’s being launched,
snow swirls around its nave

so much stone to be sent aloft
on the tiny spark of a solitary rose

so much weight to be thrust into something other
by the flame of a delicate rose

from cold to colder it will ascend
by the blaze of a redhot dot of life

from breath to unbreath it’ll rise
by the spitfire of a steadfast
solitary rose

Jim Culleny
Photograph by Abbas Raza