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Memory of a Rose in Tbilisi

by Meg Freer

I had not thought the rose might bleed,

bring its own memory forward,

the irregular rhythm of grief

a message nearly missed

until the day you understand

what a single thorn can do.


But let’s sing about picking raspberries

while joyful human and avian chatter

floats across dry fields sprinkled

with fallen starlight of bindweed,

and how the wisp of thorn

on a raspberry stem can prick

deep as that of a rose.

About this Poem

Meg Freer grew up in Montana and now teaches piano in Kingston, where she enjoys taking photos outdoors and wishes she had more time for writing poetry. Her prose, photos, and poems have won awards in North America and overseas and have been published or are forthcoming in anthologies and journals such as Ruminate, Juniper Poetry, Vallum Contemporary PoetryArc Poetry, Eastern Iowa Review, and Queen’s Quarterly.

"A rose I had dried bled through like a smudge of blood onto the papers between which I had placed it, a bittersweet remembrance. Picking raspberries once on a gorgeous summer day was divine, and their tiny thorns scratched my skin and brought back memories of rose thorns."

Joy Journals

Jason Heroux is interested in seeing what your "joy journal" looks like. What sort of images and moments and memories would be in there? Please send an example of a page from your joy journal to with the words "Joy Journal" in the subject line. It can be a poem, a list, a paragraph ... anything you like. A few submissions may be selected to appear as upcoming posts on the Poetry Blackboard.

About the Poetry Blackboard

The Poetry Blackboard showcases poems curated by Kingston's Poet Laureate and written by Kingston poets. There's a new poem every month, written by poets living and dead, historical and contemporary, published and unpublished, adults and children, giving full range to the cultural voice of Kingston. Started in 2015 by Helen Humphreys, the Poetry Blackboard has been continued since 2019 by Jason Heroux.

We wish to thank Helen Humphreys, Kingston's second Poet Laureate, for her generous support of emerging and established poets in Kingston through library programming and our Poetry Blackboard project. Throughout her four years as Poet Laureate, Helen curated a digital collection of poetry to showcase the talents of local creators of all ages, both historic and contemporary. Helen also offered several opportunities for emerging poets to develop their craft, offering group workshops and one-on-one mentorship. Her active engagement with the library and community has been greatly appreciated.

In 2019 we welcomed the incoming Poet Laureate, Jason Heroux, who continues to curate the Poetry Blackboard and to develop new community programming.

Previously Published Poems