The First Flower? (roses)
White Camellia

Miriam's Old Roses Garden

Monsieur-Tillier-Rose Miriam made a garden

From some land that slanted down a hill.

            A creek ran through.

                        Beyond the land—

                                    A bay—a view!


A garden, yes, a garden

Filled with roses.

This became her passion,

And in her usual fashion

Of no plan left unfulfilled,

She planted roses

            Down the hill—

            Round the hill—

A dozen, a hundred, a thousand!


Roses, roses, large and small,

            Short and tall—

Some reaching to the

            Tallest tree,

Some peeping from the

            Sheltered niches.

A plethora of riches!

No whim of nature

            This creation

Each petal patterned to

            Its perfect whole.


Roses of exquisite hue

Breathe out their lovely scents

            All through

            The garden.


A garden meant to be

            A haven for the needed bee,

A sanctum for the squirrels

            And birds

With seeds and nuts



She may sit within a

            Hidden bower

Surrounded, enveloped by

            Her flowers.

Does she think her loving

            Toil rewarded?

In this garden she has

            Singly made?

She has raised old roses

            From their grave—

Their long-lost loveliness

            Has shared

With everyone who

            Showed they cared.


The roses bloom and spend

Their lives with wild abandon.

            They fade too soon.

The joy—the peace

            To know

The everlasting spring

            Will bring

Their flawless beauty

            Back again

To Miriam’s garden.

By Thelma Behrens (Miriam's sister)

I love the photo at the top, and had planned to include it in my December Rose of the Month post. However, the picture's impact would be lost among all the other images. So I thought about including it, by itself, with a poem. But what poem would do it justice with a quick search? Then, yesterday, I received this poem about Miriam Wilkins in an email from Thelma Behrens' granddaughter, Emerald Behrens.

The poem is a gift to all the people who knew Miriam Wilkins, and to those who will learn about her in the future.

Rosa Monsieur Tillier