napowrimo day 21

by larapayne

planting cosmos

 
Promised a late-summer array
of sunset orange, we clear winter
from the driveway. Brittle leaves,
small sticks, and creeping weeds. She
is impatient for her favorite part: holding
the seeds in her own hands. This year
she has become expert at this, and rarely
drops any. She doesn’t even question
how a seed can become a tall plant. These
seeds are thin, long and sharp. The baby
is not too close. She sits in a leaf pile
shifts her feet in the rustle. Will
these plants survive my ever
well-intentioned, but partial neglect?
I hope so. As my daughter cups
them in her confident palms,
she asks for their name. Cosmos,
I tell her. “Like the show, like
the universe?” she asks. I marvel,
again, at what she brings to my life,
how every word is remembered, every
new experience links to one from her
not so distant past. We talk of stars,
of how some part of us came from the stars,
long ago. How long? To this girl, her four
years are immense. Longer than that, I say.
How long until these flowers bloom? We count
months. I can see it now, how the baby
will be walking by the time they are in bud. And
my father will most probably be gone. We live
in small time, right now. Just a season contains
as much history as we can imagine. A week
blooms full of possibility. An hour may hold
heartbreak and joy on either end. Gather water
and be generous. The sun is shining and the earth
warms.

 

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