Making a Flower

I let Justin (1st grade) cut out early to the playground. Ellen (3rd grade) sees this and she wants out early too. I say no doing. Justin can hardly sit still for five minutes let alone 60. He’s two years younger and made to run.
Ellen, two years older, is somber and capable. I want to get at least one more piece out of her before she leaves for the week. We settle on “a flower” I wad up the clay in a certain way and start to show her something I know she can accomplish In the time she has left. After my quick demo, she’s doing her own kind of flower. She’s decided she needs to make a rose and that she needs to make it petal by petal. I explain that we don’t have time for this kind of flower and besides the clay we are using today (drier than usual) is not suited to a rose made petal by petal.
At this point Michael, who is in 2nd grade, chimes in with his opinion. He says a flower is a flower and that you don’t need to get all caught up in the type of flower. I turn my attention to him and gaze into his wider than wide eyes. Michael’s eyes are so big. I stare into them forever and reach the something in me that never goes away. This takes maybe 30 seconds and I turn my attention back to Ellen and let her cut out early.


Flowers at Walgreens

3 feb 2013


I’ve gone to Walgreens a lot lately.
Because the tiny rose bushes are just $2.50

And they come in white, light pink, bright pink and red.

Those living eternal symbols were less than a cup of coffee
The kind I drink anyway.

I bought one of each in different neighborhoods
Because I kept coming back for more, and I was getting around.

In the stores I noticed things
I’m just saying.

In the white neighborhood store, as you approach the checkout stand,
An impulse item you can buy is blond hair dye
Like, hey! I think I’ll dye my hair blond!

In the Latino neighborhood you can chose from 3 aisles
of valentine candy, flowers and what-not
That’s an aisle more than other stores


You can probably get these anywhere
I noticed them in the black neighborhood store
Black Marlboros. Black, like acknowledging what is
The package, your lungs, the smoke
Calling a spade a spade.


I stopped to look at a rose bush today. It had tightly wound new buds waiting to open It had partially open flowers. it had perfect fully blown roses, wilting roses, dried petals, shriveled leaves. It had all phases of rose on it at the same time. In a way it defined and defied time. All at once. And so pretty.