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Considering the Sunflower

By Rachel Rueckert

The sight of it is common enough. A fist-full of orange-yellow feathers with a dark center like an eye without a pupil, the texture of a black bee. The soft petals open like an awkward yawn on a Saturday morning, sucked into the core by spades of green sandpaper, propped up by a fuzzy stem. The sturdy trunk provides something safe to hold onto, like the string of a kite. I place the flower, a gift from a friend, into my tote bag like a travel companion and let it tousle like a bobble head doll on a dashboard as we walk home at night, and I like to imagine what a passerby might think as they see me float down the street, There goes a young woman in her prime. Perhaps they might wonder who gave me this cluster of sunshine, more surprising than a rose, a flower without a smell, without seeds like the kind that grew near the window well when I was a child with their heavy heads that bowed like penitent sinners, ready to give up the ghost. But not this one, this single riot of petals, its head held high, wearing a golden crown.

About Rachel Rueckert

Rachel Rueckert is a Utah-born, Boston-based writer and international curriculum director. She is an MFA candidate at Columbia, where she is working on her first memoir about marriage and travel.

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