Sarah Carey

The Rose Bush

It wasn’t so much I wanted to hurt
so much as I wanted to fight
the mite-spread virus—rose rosette—
killing off my last stand of intentional

landscape, careful cultivar,
so one day after one too many
like this, helpless, anger second-guessed,
I tackled the overgrown bush

arched over my driveway—
its build-up of a little dead each year
entangled with the little living—
wiped blood from my ungloved hands

my skin in the game, as if to resurrect
resistance. Left my whittled witness.

Sarah Carey is a graduate of the Florida State University creative writing program. Her poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in Gulf Coast, Five Points, Sugar House Review, Florida Review, Zone 3, Redivider, River Heron Review, Split Rock Review, Atlanta Review and elsewhere. Her book reviews have appeared recently in Salamander, EcoTheo Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal and the Los Angeles Review. Sarah’s poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Orison Anthology. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks, including Accommodations (2019), winner of the Concrete Wolf Chapbook Award. Her debut full-length collection was a finalist for the 2023 Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize and the Barry Spacks Prize sponsored by Gunpowder Press. Visit her at, Instagram @skcarey1 or on Twitter @SayCarey1.