“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones” — Albert Einstein

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mother And The Cutthroat

Every year mother gave me dried delphiniums (massive blooms staked against the wind swayed above the irises and poppies). She’d hang them in a dark closet along with sprigs of lavender. Once dried, they would hold their color through the winter.  I have one delphinium from two years ago. Though faded in color, I save it.

One of her poppies survived the Polar Vortex. I fleshed it out of the weeds and pulled out the invasive quack grass that was smothering it. Big egg-shaped buds covered the plant, a tinge of pink at the tip promising salmon-colored crepe paper blooms in a week, or two, with sun and rain and faith. Faith was  for daffodils in my grandmother’s dictionary, but the daffodils are done and the tulips are done but the poppy is to come. 

But wait. The whirr of the gas-powered weed whacker warns of danger. The swoop of the handle cleaves the air, dismantling everything in its path, protective goggles and gloves for the whacker in full-throttle  approach. Protection for the cutthroat but none for the poppy. In one fell unsupervised swoop, the poppy is in ruins, flecks of bud (hints of salmon) lie scattered in the grass like fluffs of dandelion. 

Sister presented mother with the remnants. Poppy pieces in her lap, like rose petals saved from a prom corsage.


Liza said...

Stunning. And heartbreaking!

Wendy said...

What a wonderful piece of writing. Like Liza said, stunning and heartbreaking!

Yvonne Osborne said...

Thank you so much.

Thank you!

Anthony Duce said...

Wonderful writing.. How sad the death of the poppies. My mother always had a few poppies in he garden, and a story or two for them too.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Hi Tony!
Thank you so much. I would've loved to have heard those stories. I hope you wrote them down.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Wow, that's so emotional and descriptive. Fine writing, Yvonne!

Deborah Lawrenson said...

I agree with all the other comments - a really lovely and poignant piece of writing.