The Rose

every part of her body
was on fire
every inch of her brain
was shrinking
every time she tried to walk
her legs give in
every time she tries to get up
her body turns to jelly

but it's worth it in the end
when the fire fades
and the shrinking expands
and the jelly turns into
something strong
something different
like calluses on hardworking hands

she is no flower
no thing to be plucked
and slowly wither
she is not fragile
the frost does not ruin her
but preserves her for the spring
in fact all the shrinking
and growing makes her more
more of an oak or a fir tree
or something in between
her back is made of snakes
from hard labor and following her dreams
her eyes daggers looking for the next

while her stomach may be empty
and her legs still made of jelly
she is no flower
she will eat you alive.