Chrsyanthemum; the pointy heart leafleted bills of a chrysanthemum stack neatly upon themselves forming the long flowing tower of an asymmetrical cloud. Increasingly protruding out in uniform coloration, the white tips leaning, form a concentration. Departing from the center the outermost petals stretch far, sitting tired after pulling for so long.
So when he lays them on, he winks for the last time at the sun and your lungs hit the confined wooden casket trapped still. Placing you into the roots where the dead tree beds rest, he mumbles, tears up, and throws on your favorite. Some of them don’t make it on, but fall into the surrounding dirt. He should have gone for Sweet Peas—longer lasting, less crunched.
Eustoma; folded at thirty degree angles floating outward from the stemmed, haired and hidden center. Trapped within lies a yellow pod of sweet nectar, clamping the inner lopes of the dark crests. Not visibly, the five different Eustomas vary greatly. Though perhaps they were similar initially, the types have evolved, grown apart. They hold some commonalities just so they can call themselves Eustoma.
As the flowers sit smiling you enter your house with him; you were right that they’d look good in a clear glass vase. Clashing with the white walls, he matches the flowers, a sadly bright and annoying yellow. Silly how he still wears that shirt. Funny how he knows to buy Eustomas. The veins of age run deep on both of your faces, the ridges matching with the liquid streams on the flower.
Freesia; praying for forgiveness their pores face to the Kenyan sky drip with sunlit drops. The plucking rain can weigh them down pulling tears in the stems causing ruptures in the cells. Yet circular cups of yellow try to hug each other’s sides and pet the surprisingly silky and soft flower petals.
Apologizing greatly his youthful body stands at your door, hands outstretched, head back, almost pleading. He’s learned the types now: Texas Bluebell, Gentian, Prairie Gentian, Tulip Gentian, and Lisianthus. He bounces hoping you’ll be proud he remembered. Giggling because you remember what it was like to be a child, and in love, you have to let him into your house—you need to forgive, and take the flowers. Aftershave cuts the fragrance and you can’t help but feel like he tried too hard to get this perfect. You have to kiss him, so you do even though you’re doubtful. You really would have preferred some simple Hydrangeas, but maybe after so long, he thought you needed something better.
Taraxacum; the yellow parallel thin lines of the dandelion meet with the spiked up sometimes half protruding puffs of the flower. Seemingly pointed, the fluff floats away in the wind, even though you thought it might stick around.
Attempting to capture the picture in the moment, you collect various stalks with the florets pointing up. He ties them in a loose string around the edges. As the seeds float away in the wind, he fastens the crown of buds around your temple. He makes one for himself and lays it hidden in the grass. Rubbing your forehead he walks away with the florets and the breeze.
Rose; Juliet’s rose does smell just as sweet when he hands it to you on the chilled August morning. When you feel your heart hit its confines bouncing from your chest and you smile because what else are you supposed to do jump up and kiss him? Not yet, so you stand arm distance apart and just grin. His arms clad with his yellow shirt release the sweated stem into yours, frailer now after holding something so alive. You notice the missing pedal and think of forget me knot flowers, the smaller billowed blue ones, that meet lightly in the center with a field of yellow, that you know is from the French ne m’oubliez pas. You gleam anyway because you’ve never gotten flowers from a guy, and chances are he doesn’t know that the yellow roses only mean friendship, red ones mean love.
Allison Korbey, Age 17, Grade 12, Berkeley Carroll School, Gold Key