“The Token Rose”, a plea for tolerance.

backyard 6

The Token Rose

Outside it is cold,
No leaves flutter
In bitter winds,
No birdsong to
Sweeten the air,
Just the Token rose
Trembling in fierce gusts
Howling round the eaves.

Too early this spring,
This rose started to bloom,
A miracle of season,
A miracle of mercy.

Named for a woman
Who died by her own hand,
A hand forced by ignorance
Isolation, and
No Mercy.

Ah, we are so hard on those
We say we love,
We are lacking in compassion
To those who march out of step,
Those who don’t believe as we do,
And then we hide from
What we have wrought,
Uneasy but still righteous.

If there is any hint of shame
We bury it deep as deep as the grave
She now lies in.

The Token Rose flutters in the cold.
Pearly white tinged with pink
Catches the feeble sunlight
And waves a forgiveness
That we, hardened of heart,
Do not deserve.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2014-2018, because intolerance and hatred doesn’t have a specific date.

Token was a woman in an in law’s family who turned lesbian to the shock and dismay of her family, etc.  She blew her brains out while talking to these folk on the phone.  This was decades ago, but the horror of ‘Christian’ intolerance still shocks.  Fundamentalism leads to death  within any religion.  These people want to be called ‘early Christian’ but to me and many others, they are shock troops of Evil.

Regardless Token’s sexuality, she deserved better. When will our intolerance and ignorance abate?  Apparently never.

And….I transplanted this 20 year old rose bush to the new rose garden in the back last fall, as it was ailing.  Today I saw huge rose buds and such wonderful, green foliage.  Token lives on and I am grateful.  She will always live for me in this rose bush.

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4 Responses to ““The Token Rose”, a plea for tolerance.”

  1. kanzensakura Says:

    A beautiful rose and a beautiful poem. No, we intolerants do not deserve mercy but we receive it all the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ladynyo Says:

    Yeah. I agree, Sweetheart. I don’t really have a ‘position’ on this issue, and I don’t think I have a reason to have, but damn, Toni. That these faux Christians in my own family would be part of the pack that hounded her to her death. I can’t sit on the bench in this case.


  3. Frank Hubeny Says:

    Those with a hardened heart don’t deserve the forgiveness they receive, but then they don’t know how to feel gratitude for it anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ladynyo Says:

    Yes, Frank…they don’t but! you finished the ‘rest of the story’….’they don’t know how to feel gratitude for it anyway.’ I hadn’t thought about that but knowing the situation up close and personal, you have nailed it.

    Liked by 1 person

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