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Roses and Honey

by Ren Marie Rodriguez

Tread gently the path of roses and honey—

what freedom do I have to offer you?

I hold on, I’m called on, but I’m too heavy


Lift with your back, no one will notice,

no one can see your sad and bad things

when you’re speeding down the highway

Leave them all behind, leave them far behind

and let me come home, wherever that is


The night we met, death was closing

Illness overwhelmed rotting muscle and tissue

I told you, don’t let me down slowly—

if you don’t know me, you can let me go sober

into the wild overgrowth


But I scribbled your name on the back of an envelope,

translated the word deliberately—can I be close

to you? Do you not make it sweeter, that which is

mortified? I don’t know how to stand,

but I fall beautifully


Stay with me.


Am I not here?


Stay with me, in my sleep, in all my fallible

days. Walls sound strange, they mess with me

in my resistance to suffering, in my lukewarm

salute to neurodiversity. I need to see for all

the miles, but the horizon is erratic


When everything is fair, lavender

grows in the cracks of my cerebrum, not only

deepened by something so astonishingly out

of place, but nurtured


The fire burns low and roses fall out of the

cactus fiber. Don’t avert your eyes—they fall soft,

I lean in soft, we walk soft into the

suffering. Now I can read what is beyond—she

wrapped her veil around my pillowy dissertation,

my patchwork frame


(my denial bathed three generations)


Allow this dewy benediction—prepare the lambs

to bare the cross upon the

path of roses and honey


Now go home.                                                                       

Ren Marie Rodriguez is a photographer and artist living in Flat Rock, NC. She is an aspiring poet, with a forthcoming publication in Ever Eden Literary Journal. Ren Marie is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy New York. She lives with her husband, and their three neurodiverse children. Together they are starting a nonprofit called Soaring on the Spectrum, an organization that provides opportunities in sports, performing arts and art therapy for those with autism, ADHD, and other neurological differences.

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June 2019

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