By Jill Talbot

August 18, 2014


for Indie 

Spring struggles through enough days to offer tulips. They've popped up in every garden lining the street, and a few reach from the corner where Indie, my twelve-year-old daughter, and I turn toward home. This is our end-of-the-day walk with our dog. A few nights ago, she picked two of the tulips—red-pink petals, black anthers—and put them in a mason jar on my nightstand. Tonight, she asks if she can pick one for herself. And because they're on an island not attached to any home, I say sure. She runs back in the dark. Back to me. We wander the sidewalk, share our days—the best parts, the worst parts, and last week, we added an “odd part” category. While we take turns, Indie picks the petals from their stem, and we step between their sinking. Her father left us when she was four months old. It’s always been the two of us. She is already taller than I am. When I hug her, I tuck my head on her shoulder and into her long blonde hair. 

We get back to our house, and I unlock the front door. Tonight, it will rain, and we’ll crank open our windows and sleep to the storms. I’ll walk our dog in the morning around the same block, and the streets will be dark with leftover rain. When I turn the last corner, I’ll find the sharp color of those soft petals scattered before me like a ceremony, like a gift.


Photo "Red Tuliips" provided by Paul Albertella, via Flickr creative commons license.

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