Afghan Roses | Leah Callen

Roses and Sun
Digital Art
Miroslava Panayotova

Afghan Roses

For the rose farmers of Afghanistan
Some plant bombs 
or exploding, bloody
poppies. But you 

sow slowly opening
prayers, you sow 
roses, you grow 

soul. Lovers, you 
pluck Beloved, petals 
sweating, heavy with 

holy odours, you pack
pink kisses of peace 
on your backs, a peace 

so volatile, so sweet, you 
make acres of rose oil 
near Kabul and wash away 

screams, wash away
war from its streets, wash
away horror with your

rosewater, you 
perfume your homeland 
like a mosque.

©2022 Leah Callen
All rights reserved


Leah Callen…

…is a Canadian poet living on the prairies in Saskatchewan. Her verse has appeared in various lit mags including EVENT, The Malahat Review, Contrary, Vallum, CV2, Sequestrum, and Barren. She was longlisted for the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize.

Websitehttps://www.leahcallen.com