These roses always rose from their roots—
but thorns—rootstock and scion—still carve flesh
and only thrive on a diet of blood.
Each spring we planted Peace. It came up blood.
Grandma damned the thorns and swore
these roses always rose from their roots.
Last spring, I laid Peace in the Earth—
She’s been fleeing the Nazis since 1939.
Nazi and rose throve on a diet of blood.
This September, zombie Heinrich Himmler came for her.
I pressed his flesh and bones into the Earth—
These Nazis always rose from their roots—
giving strange roses—red and yellow—black and white—
just thorns, really—but, enough to kill Grandma—
poisoned peaceless by a diet of blood—
I placed her in the earth too. Blood in blood—
Peace—failed xenograft—more zombies at the door—
these Nazis always rose from their roots.
b l o o d
we all fall
Joshua St. Claire is an accountant who works as a corporate controller in rural Pennsylvania. His poetry has been published in Mayfly, The Delmarva Review, ubu., and The Ghost City Review, among others. He is Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. His work was included in the 2022 Dwarf Stars Anthology, and he is the winner of the 2022 Gerald Brady Memorial Senryu Award.