I found this rose pressed between the pages of my Impressionist Prints book, an enormous tomb, just right for pressing things. I had to get rid of my book and others like it because I am now moving again, getting rid of most of what I own, and that includes a lot of my pride too. But this post is about the flower.
I found a note I had left between the pages with the rose, scribbled in pencil: "from ----Valentines Day, 2000." My youngest was only 6 at the time. I was still a homemaker, so happy that I could be there for my kids, but always in a state of inexplicable uneasiness that left me sort of colorless, lifeless. I wonder now if this was the last flower given to me by the ex. It was miraculously preserved, this twelve year old rose- the color true, the stem still graceful, albeit, a little brittle.
I had no feelings toward this rose. I had no desire to stomp on it or grind it into bits. It did not coax a single tear from my eye. I don't even remember him giving it to me, although this note was telling me that he did. And its discovery did not churn out even a trickle of other unwanted memories. I was merely surprised to find it. A neutral surprise.
I studied it, admiring its form. It was a delicate curiosity.