Grubby hands search over emerald green to find the yellow starbursts.

Pretty pretty. To eat? Blegh. Not to eat. But pretty. Drool puddles over baby cheeks rounded in a goofy toothless grin.


Hand-me-down jeans skirts embroidered with pink flowers. Protesting whines and dragging feet covered in pink velcro shoes. Vacation Bible School tinges sunshine with boredom. After wooden pews and gel pens, the walk home is fresh air and freedom. Weeds tower in the park, a forest of wildflowers and thorny weeds. Find the biggest yellow flowers before they turn into wind-blown wishes and make a bouquet. Make mom happy. Green stems are mushed together in sweaty palms until they find watery solace in a glass vase on the kitchen counter. Happy.


Ripped skinny jeans and faded band t-shirts, fingers covered in black nail-polish and Sharpie tattoos. Headphones in, music blaring, selective participation even more selective in caring. Walks home from school are surrounded with apathetic friends and teenage angst. The yellow flowers are carelessly kicked over, although somehow, three golden stems make their way into a backpack and find a place on the kitchen counter again.


High school cliques form and the yellow flowers are forgotten. Blending in is everything, head down to avoid the world and become blind to natural beauty. It is all makeup, all name-brand, all bright smiles and clean notebooks. The walks home become drives in a hand-me-down car, dusty from gravel travel and road trips without a destination. The yellow flowers are picked at home from the backyard and left on the counter without a word.


The yellow blooms wither over the course of days, but each time she comes home, there are new bouquets to decorate in little mugs and fragile vases. The flowers are a point to prove, an emotion without words, a meaning only she knows.


Thank you.






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