A Study of a Pin

The roses bloom late into December.
Their vibrancy is too fresh,

too pink for this gray evening
which mutes the stoic buildings,

dulls the cars at the intersection,
and hurries these people,

their chins tucked into scarves, unaware
a brackish mix puddles next to the street curb

where oak leaves lay suspended—
or that I’m thinking, Sometimes

the inevitable is a blessing.
The roses glow in this damp,

unclaimed and unruly, one last raindrop

pools at its green leaf tip,
almost falling away, completely careless.

My mother once pinned a red velvet
bud to my t-shirt, studiously
navigating the end
between flesh and thread.

It was so delicate, so sweet,
as if it would breathe.


Katie Riley is an equestrian who lives in Lexington, KY, a city she fell in love with as a child. She co-leads “Poezia,” a poetry workshop that welcomes all poets. She is a graduate of Murray State University’s Creative Writing MFA and her poems have appeared in Still: The Journal.