She watches her flowers grow While lovers come and go To give each other roses from her

tree But not a rose for Emily... There is a song written by Rob Argent of the Zombies based on the short story of its namesake, A Rose for Emily. In it the lyrics focus on the loneliness of one Miss Emily Grierson. Throughout Emily’s life she is overlooked by love and sheltered from the things that make life worth living. Her father keeps his little girl all to himself never allowing her to be married to any of her suitors, and therefore robbing her of the opportunity to live the life of a normal girl in post civil war Mississippi. This evokes pity from the town. Poor Miss Emily they all say. For years Emily keeps to herself, a monument of old southern values. She is very attached to her father; they are all they have. He passes away and Emily is left all alone. Nobody to love her, nobody for her to love, no one to send her roses picked with care. This is until two years later when she meets Homer Barron, a northern carpetbagger. He is Emily’s last chance. She is thirty and the women have begun to talk. The pressure builds, crushing her, but Emily maintains face, or so it seems. On the eve of Miss Emily’s funeral, forty years after she became almost a total recluse, the body of Emily’s long lost lover was found virtually undisturbed in a bedroom upstairs. In the room with him there was a men’s toilet seat with his initials etched and tarnished over, a tie was laid about neatly as if recently just removed from his body, and a nightshirt that eroded with the decaying remains. It is never actually said to be Homer Barron’s body but it is undoubtedly him. Around the time he was said to have deserted Emily she bought these items for the man who would be her husband, the man who would make her the woman fit for society and not just their pity. Her grey hair lay on the pillow beside in cradled in the indentation of her head. The woman had loved him and he threatened her with something she couldn’t face. Homer was a bachelor of questionable means. How he spent his nights drinking away at the Elk’s Club greatly influenced his day. He would not marry Emily. He was just not the marrying type. Emily refused to be left alone again. First it was her father who had abandoned her, running off to join death after he had stolen her livelihood. No one had been good enough for her. Now that she found someone her father couldn’t ruin she was determined to keep him. Dead or alive was not a concern to Emily. She only wanted someone to be there. Homer threatened to abandon her, just as her father did, run to his mistress of a lifestyle. Emily just could not accept this reality. Perhaps it was too soon to suffer a loss, after all her father had only passed two short years ago. Maybe she would never be able to grip the harsh reality that Homer was just not the prince she had hoped him to be. Whatever the reason Emily was leaving the days when loneliness was her only friend. Tobe was but her manservant, not a real companion. The people in town just would not understand. The only good of the town was to judge her. They might call her crazy if they heard her plan aloud. She purchased arsenic for the murder, more than likely had Tobe put it in the food. He was loyal, like a puppy. Homer indulged in what may have been his favorite meal, as it was most certainly his last. He went to sleep perhaps embracing his lover. She had not argued with him this night, as her memories would be fond. As the

night progressed his dreams slipped away to nothingness and his breath ceased. Homer is dead, and Emily has killed him. No one knows anyhow except for Tobe. He will never tell. Emily is as much of a lady as the women in town with their husbands. She can perform all the wifely duties, helping him change from tie to nightshirt each night. She gives his corpse all the things a wife ought to give her husband. Of course the town does not know. They assume he up and left her. But it is quite different; he will never leave. She will never be alone again. It is truly till death do us part. Emily can actually pity the women in town. She can shake her head at them while she lies content with the perfect husband. He listens intently to everything she has to say without interrupting. He never goes to bed angry. He doesn’t cheat or drink or beat on her. He doesn’t force her to clean and never makes a mess. There is his little hygiene issue but Emily doesn’t mind. He never leaves her for days on end. In fact he doesn’t do much at all but spend time with his precious love. And with him, Emily is truly happy, something she can never claim to have possessed. She loses track of time with him as the years roll by, 10… 20…30…40… until she finds that she herself has departed, and even then she has what can be called the last laugh. She joins her man in the afterlife. And as the years go by She will grow old and die The roses in her garden fade away Not one left for her grave Not a rose for Emily...