are you the rose you thought you’d be at this stage of your blooming life? when you were a bud did you think your petals would unfurl as they have or did you have a premonition of greater glory? is your stem straight and true or has it taken a turn here and there that were unexpected and unpleasant/pleasant? has a hand come down to admire you and you’ve pricked them with your thorns in spite of their benign intentions (clipper-less)? do you worry that you’ll be picked too early, before you’ve had the opportunity to fully mature? you’re not one of those roses who’s life is plotted and destined for a dinner table/rendezvous/mother’s loving embrace; picked, sprayed, and laid next to baby’s breath? or do you think you’ll just play it as it lays, a rose that even joan didion would love?