Roses on Barbed Wire

“Barbed wire connects us like prayer, separates us like punctuation, defines us like our words, and supports us like a father’s hand.”

c e hollis

I love barbed wire fences. They run along the ranch land enclosing pastures of cattle, horses, and fields of hay and wildflowers. Scissortail flycatchers and meadowlarks, phoebes, and mockingbirds sit atop them to sing to the morning.

In the summer they are heavy laden with climbers —not children but vines. Trumpet vines curl and twine and offer orange bugles to hummingbirds and bees. The clusters of flutes are attractive to ants and other insects so full of sweetness they are.

Honeysuckle weighs down the wires with its white and yellow blooms. Children love to suck a drop of sweet nectar as do the bees and butterflies. Perfumers love the scent and many a appreciative nose stops to remember the smell.

Blackberries climb and spread clusters of white flowers on thorn ridden stems. Later locals gather the fruit for cobblers and pies and jars of sweet jam. There will be plenty for man, birds and beasts.

Wild roses —pink pompoms of softness trundle over the barbed wire and flow like the skirts of evening gowns with blooms to the ground. Oh how I love the fence displays.

Along the same fences where houses and small farms once sat irises bloom still and in some spots daffodils and narcissus blow again every spring. Amidst them Indian paint brushes tipped with red, asters, coreopsis and beard tongue light the ground. Cone flowers dance like ballerinas to the music of birds and wind.

Barbed wire it fences us out or in. It separates and designates our places. It gives us a divider but a highly adorned beautiful one and one we can still see through to see horses grazing and bluestem grasses waving in the Oklahoma wind.

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