Denise Levertov

To One Steeped in Bitterness

Nail the rose
                        to your mind's door
like a rat, a thwarted chickenhawk.
Yes, it has had its day.

And the water
                         poured for you
which you disdain to drink,
yes, throw it away.

Yet the fierce rose
                              stole nothing
from your cooped heart,
nor plucked your timid eye;

and from inviolate rock
                                      the liquid light
was drawn, that's dusty now
and your lips dry.