Seasonal

Claytonia virginicaDross. The crocuses I ripped, unseasonably, from the ground the winter we moved to Indianapolis are blooming, feebly, again. I’m ashamed of what’s left of them, fighting through heavy mulch. Four bulbs under a little oak tree. The few I tucked under the Bradford Pear are long gone.

The rather boring, but once vigorous, mums and golden Rudbeckia, which once marked the birth of my sons, also failed. Inside the orchids are dying of the dry air and neglect. I am tempted to toss the whole lot. The days I’ve spent, dross.

This city must have a decent crop of spring wildflowers somewhere. I remember, from last year, brief carpets of Claytonia beside the Fall Creek bike path, east of Keystone Avenue. Also some spring flowers in a few of the yards in the city’s Old Northside neighborhood. More in the larger, greener, public parks, but these places lack diversity. The terrain is easy and over trod. Where is the old growth timber and the forest floor, eight inches deep in leaf litter?

Self consumed. Too many seasons in this city have turned on driving conditions, women’s clothing and school schedules. Note to Housman: I wouldn’t mind spring passing, if I could be other than numb when it went by. Here, compost delayed. Passivity, self consuming.

Beat back. Over mulched, repressed. The season sprouts to spite us, besides. The fruit flies over wintered this year on my family’s abundance. My daughter’s goldfish tank is greening up nicely. Lift the lid and soft drapery of moss can be seen spilling over the lip of the charcoal filter. Take us all.

Grace and grief. Over the weekend, under three days of dishes, I found a black-eyed pea sprouting in the sink. Root sprouting roots. Flesh thinning, folding out to leaves. Gently rinsed, I thought of planting it. Imagined it growing leggy or molding over. Tried, instead, to feed it to our little bird, the family conure. One turn of the beak and he dropped it to the newspaper at the bottom of his cage. Grief, so graced: dross.

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