Monday, March 12, 2012

The Daffodils in the Pickle Jar

I'm grading, reading student course reflections on writing, and the scent of flowers wanders by.  I can't remember where it came from, that half-scent of sweet and half-vegetable succulent green air. 

I look up and remember the handful of closed daffodil stems I picked up at the grocery store when I needed to pull cash and had to buy something and didn't want any chewing gum, candy or magazines.  Stacks of boxes of daffodil stems stood by the doorway. 

And now, every single stem of them is open, full and yellow, bursting pert yellow stars with slender green tongues inside; the water in the pickle jar with the half-torn label refracts and magnifies the firm stalks, the papery shells that held the folded flowers pushed back at their necks like futuristic-shaped starched Elizabethan collars. 

In a few days that faint plumpness in the petals will fade, and the whole flower become frozen withered tissue.  The water will turn fetid.  But for now, what a surprising respite from the work of the day.

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