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A Red Rose Of December

Beata works as a qualified primary school teacher, a councillor for drug and alcohol addiction and a farm caretaker for organic olive grow.

December is here time to attend to my roses on my sunshine farm. it is hot and dusty, wildfires are always ready to break out.


Here and now the image of a shiny red rose stuck in dark long hair comes to my mind..

They appeared with the first snow

on the outskirt of our town

Walking in one line

two strong men

followed by a slim girl

and a child.

In the fields of the first farm

they stopped their old wagon

while sun was setting down

they cooked fresh potatoes

over the fire.

A little trained monkey

tried to steal some

they laughed gathering fresh hay

and cuddled to each other

to chase away the cold

it was still snowing.

I watched them sleeping

my wandering gypsies.

I could not wait to see them

to dance and sing

on the ancient steps

of our church

on the Christmas morning.

And they did

straight after our mass

the youngest of the men

playing his harp

another one balancing

on a thin iron bar

a child sang in angel’s voice

safe in his mother’s arms

Then beautiful dark Mary

twirled her colorful skirts

her golden bangles

shimmered in the eyes

of lustful town men.

Their angry wives spit at her

crossing themselves

running back to shut

the door of the church.

Mary didn’t mind.

She was dancing to her own

ancient God of love.

My wondering gypsies

coming to our town

to give us free spirit and joy

with the tomorrow sun

they would be gone.

My wandering gypsies with empty hands and full hearts, I followed them all the way out of the town.


Mary stopped and gathered me in her arms: “Please take me with you,” I begged: “I am alone in the world like you."

She laughed opening her arms

to the wind

her child played with an empty

tin plate

watching us hungrily and I sighed.

“Everything what you need is

in front of you,”

she said to me while opening my palm.

“Your life will be good, trust me,

my little blue eyed one.”

Over the winter countryside

a pale cold sun was rising up.

I waved them good bye.

She looked tired my gypsy queen,

I missed her so much

but she said I see her again

next year to worship her god Odin

and laughing at us all

stuck in our small and miserable lives

while she roamed the whole world.

When I looked down

right in front of my old shoes

on the fresh fallen snow

lied a shiny paper red rose

that fell off Mary’s long

sleek dark hair.

I picked it up and stuck it

in my own blonde curls

hopping all the way back

to my granny’s house

‘Now I am a gypsy queen too,”

I thought.

It took me years to realise what my gypsy queen has read from my palm.


Mary has lived whole her life selling a dream.

She never came back to our little town.

They apparently found a big city

with more people

eager to buy a little paper rose

to make them feel

like real kings and queens

for a little while..

Real roses are not so pretty

neither so perfect

but real as one can be

and I have found plenty

wandering all around

my past fifty five years

never tempted again

to swap the imperfect real rose

for the perfect paper one...

My childhood gypsy queen taught me a lesson for life...

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