I left it all and went away,
To find something I never had;
A place of my own, where I wouldn't be
A burden on Mother and Dad.
I worked real hard and the good Lord blessed
My grateful heart through and through.
But, I never forgot the old home place
And the porch where the roses grew.
In summer, the field was lush and green
And the garden was plentiful, too.
But, winters were hard, when the snow piled high
And we, kids, had to get to school.
We hardly could wait 'til the mockingbird sang
And the wild flowers pushed up their heads;
'Til the falling rain, by the side of the porch,
Woke the rose from it's sleeping bed.
In the living room, we had a big old barrel
That made us a dandy fire.
On cold nights, we sat with the popcorn pan,
Playin' banjo and fiddle and lyre.
Oh, we laughed a lot. But, we cried some, too.
It was hard times, in thirty two.
But, we made our way and developed a faith
That was certain to see us through.
Every season that came, we watched that rose,
Blessed by it's fragrance and grace.
All of us knew that, deep in our hearts,
The rose had a special place.
For, a rose can remind you of love so deep.
Even pressed, the scent lingers on.
And from little on, we were taught to compare
Our lives to the Rose of Sharon.
We all grew up, in spite of the times,
Made our way in a world of fast pace.
As the years rolled by, I decided I'd go
Back to the old home place.
The house, now, was gone ... the barn and rail fence.
No wonder. They never were much.
But, my heart skipped a beat. I couldn't believe!
I had to walk over and touch!
For the rose still survived and had grown
through the years.
Tiny rose, that had so pleasured us,
Was a beautiful bush ... as big as the house,
Still living, still green and lush.
Then, the memories came, echoes of time,
The floor where your penny fell through;
The old water well, the bucket and cup ...
Forty acres by hand and mule ...
The eggs Mom would set and the way she would fret
'Bout the holes in our shoes and clothes,
And the table, filled with her homemade skills,
And a vase, with blooms from the rose.
The rose! Oh, the rose ... so magnificent, now,
It's fragrance and beauty so rare!
I knew that the Lord had nurtured that rose
With His blessings and personal care ...
To remind us, one day, when we'd all gone our ways,
That each still holds in his heart
Mem'ries of a place where happiness dwelt
And helped us all make a right start.
I gathered a bloom and a good strong shoot
From the bush and I took it home.
I planted the shoot by the side of my porch,
For the sake of mem'ry alone.
© by Joan Clifton Costner
pages are listed in the Library.