Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Flowers

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

We only lived in that house for a year
and I was only six, but I remember
things. Like, Mom planted a row of
flowers along the walkway to the
front door. They were red and
yellow and orange and shaped like
rooster combs. “Cock’s combs,” a
neighbor said. They fascinated me,
how a flower could look like part
of a chicken. I watched them for
endless minutes, like I expected
something to happen and didn’t
dare miss it. I knew something of
magic then. Perhaps, I simply
expected they’d become chickens,
scratching about the yard for seed
and small insects. But, maybe it
was something even more
miraculous than that. Maybe, it
was some bigger knowing that had
possession over me. I’d put some
in a pot on the stoop of my first
house. For no particular reason, I
thought. And, there would come  
the day when I’d be standing in the
Amazon and meet a field full of the
ancestors of Mom’s flowers, as tall
as me, and I’d feel an odd sense
of family and want to tell someone
about it, but there was no one to tell.
Then, a day would arrive when I’d
have my very own chickens and
while watching them strut, cluck,
and scratch, I’d remember being
a little girl watching flowers, and
realize that I was still watching them.

We shouldn’t underestimate children.
They become something else.

© 2016-2018/Jamie K. Reaser
From "Plant Songs" (a work in progress)

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