Rose Of Determination

Walking, talking, moving
Pierced face and eyes
An old woman, a girl
Physically drawn to her
She walked over to her
And gently touched her
That night
The room became alight
Nurses, doctors, family
Safe in a world
And in its originality
A vacant bed
Across the view of her face
Left an empty space
In a fragile heart
And the strength of a rose
Released a determination
Of self creation
That she made her own
She left
An empty space
Before the time
That she would die
Of the originality
Of a world she made her own
Made her feel better
For a time
She left an empty space
Across the view of her face
Before the time
That she would eventually die

By Maria Grujicic (Malena)

The Desert Rose. Darwin, Australia

This is a poem that I wrote today as I remembered the time I was in hospital. I had an illness and I nearly died.

I was too young to understand this as a girl, and the impressions that stayed with me were the activity of people around me. I seemed to have absorbed the idea of death, and carried the impressions forth in my life and I eventually came to write this poem.

The poem ‘describes’, if such a word is adequate to use, the unspoken, spiritual relationship of an anonymous dying old woman sharing a hospital room with a girl who is fighting for her life. Two souls are joined as one.

When I write of ‘her’ I am referring to both the old woman and the girl, who is of course me. I was 13. When I refer to shelter and the ‘world she made her own’, this is the youth and innocence that protected me from knowing what was going on.

To this day I don’t know what happened to the woman. I presumed she died. I was deeply saddened by the old woman’s death and my potential fate. I didn’t know why it was happening, but it stayed within me subconsciously and I wasn’t able to comprehend it until I became an adult.

This is the audio of a prose that I wrote a while ago while I was living in Germany, related to this theme.

Now I’m in Darwin, Australia and my impressions are different again. The word ‘rose’ in each poem I wrote is used to mean the noun and verb of the word ‘rose’. For example, if you read the desert ‘rose’ as a verb, you will get a different meaning to the desert ‘rose’ as a noun. Both meanings are intertwined. The photo is of a desert flower found in the bush, not too far from where I live in Darwin. It is a symbol of strength and survival.

The Desert Rose

The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can’t help it.— Leo Rosten

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