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The Letter

by Jason van Dongen (follow)

The school's bell sounds and from its halls,
Burst those who would escape its walls;
Children who have been schooled all day,
Now hurry to get home and play.

A small girl stands out from the crowd,
She drags her feet, her head is bowed;
It's clear from her ill-fitting clothes,
That no one cares for little Rose.

Rose has hopes set on a letter,
From a man who's never met her;
Her Dad will set her Mama straight,
And tell Rose why she's had to wait.

Each year Rose waits for the letter,
Her studies and her stars get better;
Time passes slow for those who wait,
But soon it's time to graduate.

Rose graduates first in her class,
But joy is fleeting and contrasts,
With hollowness within her soul,
For no one sees her reach her goal.

Then, bundled with the mail one day:
A note not sent the usual way.
In a blank envelope enclosed,
Is a short note addressed to Rose.

"To my dearly beloved Rose,
I cannot tell you why I chose,
To live a life apart from you.
I wish I had the time anew.

"At your first school assembly,
I sat in the third row to see,
Your class act out a pantomime,
And you recite a little rhyme.

"I am writing to let you know,
I sat again in the third row,
The night when you graduated.
I am proud that you have made it.

"I did no more than plant the seed,
Yet you were able to succeed.
And here's the lesson that this shows:
Out of the dirt can grow a Rose."
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