A bitter chill sweeps through the garden

Where roses bloom and wither

The branches of the green cathedral

Sway softly as though in a dither

Once the winter grasps the petals

And fall the lonely, icy flakes

Upon the vibrant crimson flowers;

So the thorn-plucker awakes

With lovely hair so soft and sleek

And snow-white perfect skin to match

A creature with such beauty born

Yet sadly, with no joy attached

She lifts her head forth from its comfort

And sighs a worthless, shallow sigh

Her eyes are clear and shine with tears

As if she knows her battle nigh

Everything that has defined her

Revolves 'round the spiny pricks

From the flowers wreathed upon her

To her scarréd fingertips

She circles 'round the tick-stemmed blossoms

Till she finds the iron gate

Through which she's gazed a thousand times;

Yet promise she cannot escape

Defeated, once again, she knows

Accepting destiny's conviction

She sits upon the frozen ground

Regardless of her own volition

Picking the first rose beside her,

The pale skin of her hand aglow,

Holds the thorn between her fingers,

And names the thistle "woe"

Her eyes shut in anticipation

Labored by her anxious breath

In her steady grip Woe quivers

As if it bears a certain death

The plucker's features are constricted

Her fingers pinching Woe so tight

Woe snaps off with a harsh resound

Thus shackling her for one more night

She gazes at the tiny thistle

Plucked forth from the lovely rose

Alas, her duty is not finished;

She carries on with such repose

Woe lies upon her gentle thumb

Awaiting her skin, pure and nesh

The plucker breathes in deep; and then

She thrusts the thorn into her flesh

A tear falls down, her heart is laden

Now she's overcome with woe

Burdened by this new sensation;

But there are countless thorns to go

She only has her tears for comfort

Her loneliness seems well rehearsed

There is no food to douse her hunger

No water near to quench her thirst

Working through each broken vessel

No time to spare to soothe her nerves

For she's a slave to all our suffering

When others cry, 'tis she who serves

At night, she works beside a candle

If not for wind, in total silence

She stabs herself with more emotions;

Each one with increasing violence

Up till morning she has learned

Of Wrath, of Pity, and of Lust

Her thighs become more thrashed and bloody

With each inevitable thrust

Faith was tricky to poke through

But not as tough as was with Sorrow

When she felt the pain of Loss

She begged that she could die tomorrow

She gasped for air when she was Drowning,

After Neurosis, she felt weak

She nearly wept with Violation

And Trauma left her feeling bleak

Every little drop of blood

No matter large or very small

Stood bold and bright against ice

And the pale skin of the thrall

Though she's grown accustomed

To the near-pleasurable sting

She longs so dear to be released

So she can live and love and sing

Life was lost with every thistle

Each puncture caused a nasty scar

But look! The snow's began to melt!

Her end cannot be very far!

A thousand roses finished plucking

Their stems lay waxy, smooth, and bare

And as the sun begins to rise

A slight heat wavers though the air

The plucker's eyes are fogged with tears

Fraught with wretchedness so sore

She gazes at the last few thorns

And counts that there are only four

She tears out Fear with dauntless passion

With the blood comes sweet salvation

To follow, she snaps out Psychosis,

Relishing the trepidation

With only two more thorns in waiting

Night set on without delay

And once she's cleaned the wound of Envy

There's just the one rose in her way

Her candle has run out of wax

And so she fumbles in the dim

To find the spine that can release her

From the her state of mind so grim

The moon above proves very faint

And shields this thorn's identity

The plucker becomes apprehensive

Questioning this entity

And soon her fingers come upon it

There! The thorn that ties her down!

She plucks it with a tired hand

And sets the spur upon her gown

A smile spreads across her face

But she is worn from her ordeal

So after her deservéd rest

She carries on with ardent zeal

The thorn now raised above her thigh

Hands shaking with her fierce desire

And since her passion is so great

She raises the thorn even higher

Squinting, she prepares for all the

Necessary pain involved

But now the time has come at last!

Let this release become resolved!

The blood has flowed, the tears have fallen

As with each other ceremony

But no! The hush is shattered by

A bitter scream of agony!

The roses burn, her flesh is scorching

Blood is boiling in her veins!

Her screaming tears the stony ground

With all the horror it contains!

The flames around her bear no mercy

This feeling, she can't comprehend

But she can't bear it any longer

By her own hand, her life now ends

The stone walls swallow her cadaver

Wounds and all are bid farewell

And soon spring shall befall the garden

Where now the thornless roses dwell

Now see, that winter brought emotions

Such as harsh Austerity

But the one that forced her self-destruction

Was unrelenting Clarity

And yet, she will return next winter

As she has done each year before

The thorn-plucker, cursed with despair

Shall snap those thorns forevermore