Poets Walk: "more than a rose"

Poets Walk: "more than a rose"

Location on Poets Walk Map: 71


Maplewood Rose Garden by Lori Nolasco

in response to “The Rose Family” by Robert Frost


The rose is more than a rose

or an apple a pear a plum

or strawberries on a vine

or raspberries on a bush.

In Maplewood Park

the rose has always been

more than a rose

where the sign reads:

Kelsey’s Landing

freedom was assured

for escaping slaves–

the last stop on the way to freedom

further beyond Niagara Falls.

Rose the house slave

who bore all the master’s

mulatto children

only to see them

sold one by one

on the auction block

was not Rose

but this was the name

she answered to

when boarding

one of those Canadian vessels

here at the end

of the Underground Railroad.

Oh Rose of Carolina

Rosa Carolina

is what they call wild rose

and La France–

which sounds like the name

of a slave ship–

is a hybrid tea rose.

Roses are herbs shrubs flowers

fruits trees abundant crops–

even boysenberries are roses

and not all grow in gardens

like Maplewood.