Posts Tagged ‘uncnoditional love’

“The Token Rose”, a plea for love and tolerance.

February 1, 2017


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 eaves.


This rose started to bloom

Too early this spring,

A miracle of season,

A miracle of mercy.


Named for a woman

Who died by her  hand,

A hand forced by ignorance



No Mercy.


We are so hard on those

We say we love,

We lack  compassion

To those who march

out… of… step.

Those who don’t believe

as we do,

Then we hide from

What we have wrought,

Uneasy but still righteous.


If there is a hint of shame

We bury it deep as the grave

She now lies.


The Token Rose flutters in the cold.

A pearly white

Catches the feeble sunlight

And waves a forgiveness

That we, hardened of heart,

Do not deserve.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014-2017

At the beginning of the year, I post this poem in tribute to Token, a woman I knew a long time ago. She, a minister’s wife, with two small daughters, believed she was a lesbian and left her family.  She suffered harassment and intolerance, little compassion from those around her.   She came to the end of her rope after about a year, and while talking on the phone to relatives, shot herself in the head and died.

I don’t know what those involved felt. Was there any guilt or remorse? These people considered themselves “Christian”.   They still do.

Faced with the issue of unconditional love, this isn’t of Christ. I struggle with this issue of unconditional love myself.  I don’t know if I can ‘love’ those who take such judgement into their own hands and a woman dies.  How do you love such people? How do you love anyone who threatens your life?  Token  was a woman who went against something  she could not bear.  Right or wrong, she deserves our love and compassion.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017







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