September Rose

Boy is talking and he knows I’m not fully engaged in listening. It’s a pre-agreed deal, that he may speak of anything but his mother’s mind is feasibly busy reconstructing aspects of modern life in hope of restoring loveliness and wonder to the whole of the world, working out whether a dark or a light wash should be next entrusted to the beautiful fantastic washing machine, remembering left from right at the roundabout, that sort of thing. He tells me if I need to listen. I am rapt attention then. But for now, I drive, Boy thinks aloud.

I see the roses. Against a white wall, last sun is shining, it touches the flowers, the warm peach flowers, they glow; the warmth of it stays with me. The most beautiful thing: how I can hold the thought of the September rose, how this epitomises the idea of memory, the idea of resilience, the calm sweet balanced glow of remembrance.

At the school meeting, the proposed trip to India is expensive, for us, not for what it has to offer. This evening Boy has eaten chilli noodles, building up his spice tolerance. One of the parents wants to know of safety precautions. I look at Boy, who is growing out of his name. I look at the slides that give flat presentations of great surges of humanity and architecture and history. Look at the teacher who promises, of the main palace in Mumbai, ‘ a jaw dropping moment.’ That reaches my ears as something worth investing in. How exactly, I am uncertain; but what future is certain? Last of the sun slips away, we walk across cold dark tarmac, unlock the car. Neither Boy nor I need to speak a single word.


  1. What a rich adventure!

    Your illustration is exquisite, as are the Semptember roses.

  2. At first when I saw them I thought of a summer romance in the last glow, but it was a deeper moment than that- the anniversary of 9/11 was on our minds; always when I write I like to have a balance of what is deep and what is light- too much shallow gloom in the world already!


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