In the tiny front yard
at the house
of a neighbor dead three years,
flowers are left uncared for.

Yet they have been faithful to their yearly blooming.
White iris, pink azalea, yellow rose
have taken steadfast turns
each spring and summer.

Today, in late November,
I pause to see a rose in bloom.

It whispers someone loved the soil here,
once cared for roots and stems so thoroughly
they persist even in neglect,
while temperatures,

having lost their ties to seasons,
cannot enforce
the time a rose must rest
or stay its blooming.