Just One Rose

For the Poetics feature today at dVerse Poets Pub, Brian has requested poems about history. I love history, and I can think of many famous men worthy of a poem, but none had the impact on me that the one the following poem was written for. When my beloved grandpa passed on I was unable to attend the funeral, and so I sent a vase with one rose in it and this poem. One of the family framed the poem and set it beside the rose; both were next to him during the service. I hope you enjoy the poem.

Just One Rose


I don’t believe in sending flowers

Especially when someone’s gone

But I’m gonna break that rule today

And send you just this one

For one is all it takes to say

How this boy loved you so

& though I know it’s to a better place

I still hate to see you go

There’s so much that I could say now

About how much you meant to me

And maybe later I’ll write a book

For all the world to see

I’ll tell about the jokes and stories

That you always loved to tell

How you made us laugh for hours

Yes, you could tell a tale so well

I’ll tell how you were always there

When anyone needed you

For your daughters and their families

There was nothing you wouldn’t do

But for now I’ll send this rose

And a few more tears I’ll cry

This red rose says I love you

I’ll miss you, Grandpa…. goodbye

Copyright © 1995 C. Mashburn


  1. man….you cinched my gut a bit….lost both grandfathers by the age i was 10….the last was a fireman…and i still tear up thinking the honor they paid to us and to him in his passing….nice piece man…

    • Thank you, Brian. As you might guess, I wrote this one through a blur of tears. It still chokes me up to read it. My grandpa was very special to me.

  2. Very touching. Your grandfather sounds like he was a special man. It was a lovely way to show your love and respect for him.

    • Thank you! Yes, he will always have a special place in my heart, and hardly a day goes by that I don’t think of him.

  3. Very touching tribute to someone who obviously holds a very special place in your heart. Beautiful.

    • Yes, he certainly does have a permanent, special place in my heart.
      Thanks, Holly Anne!

  4. Sherry Mashburn said

    lovely . . .

  5. Grace said

    So touching…I love the letter – Thanks for the personal share ~


  6. marousia said

    Powerful in its simplicity – this is a very moving farewell to a loved one

  7. That is awesome! Thank you for sharing such a personal tribute! I wrote one for both my dad and mom. I miss them very much. . .

  8. Beautiful poem for a Grandpa.

  9. Wrenching emotive write. Moved me deeply.

    • It moved me, too, Sharon. Sometimes, even all these years later, I get emotional when I read it.
      Thanks for the visit and comment!

  10. lucychili said


  11. Susan said

    Sweet! The rhyme and meter work here like a kind of cradling, a walking toward and a hugging, a one person memorial heard by Grandfather and God.

    • Thank you, Susan! That’s pretty much how it came out. A lot of my early poems (I haven’t been writing that long, you see) were off-the-cuff, and emotional. Some of them were really bad, and others came out pretty good. I think this is one of the good ones.

  12. Made me weep ~ beautiful tribute

    • No greater compliment can be paid me than that, Polly. I wept when I wrote it and sometimes still, I weep when I read it. I loved my grandpa, and miss him all the time.

  13. Mary said

    Charles, one rose can say as much as a whole bouquet; and your poem will live for a long time to come. You are fortunate to have had such a good job with your grandpa; and I am sure you will be the same kind of grandfather to your own grandchildren (if you have them) some day. I’ve written poems too that I still cry when I read; and i don’t mind….as they bring people and memories back to me, and that is a good thing!

  14. Hi Charles; Thank you for such a touching article..God Bless you my friend.. Bro Pat.

  15. zongrik said

    so sad. you seemed so close!!

    events cocatenated

  16. ds said

    Oh, sweet. There is something so special in the relationship between a boy and his grandfather. Lucky you.
    Thank you.

    • Yes, I do consider myself lucky to have had him in my life!
      Thank you for the visit and comment!

  17. yoga-adan said

    “& though I know it’s to a better place

    I still hate to see you go

    There’s so much that I could say now” –

    ain’t that the truth…

    beauty of a piece charles, thank you 😉

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