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The Uprooting

By Yvonne Osborne:



I dreamt I was dragging the garden hose across my mother’s yard in the heat of summer to water her geraniums and her climbing rose. It was covered with bursting buds but also, oddly, clumps of ice and snow were trapped amongst the thorns. There was a dreamscape darkness over the yard, as before a gathering storm, and the grass was overgrown. Nobody was home, but I wanted Mother to know I had watered her flowers. I dropped the hose under the rose bush and left it dripping, like an open mouth, to give it a good soaking, the way she said you should. The bush was full and shoulder height, and a clump of melting snow rested aberrantly between a thorn and a bud about to open. I awoke sucking the prick from a finger wet in my mouth.


I dug up a clump of that old bush and transplanted it to another place before the old place was demolished. Before the talons of a crane clawed through the roof and swallowed it, chomp chomp, as I watched from my kitchen window. It took ten eighteen-wheelers to haul those nooks and crannies, those stairs and cupboards, the porch facing north, and the office facing south to a landfill I hope isn’t too close to the coastline and rising waters. 


I water the fledgling rose bush and feed it, but it is gangly and unhappy in its new location. A rash of buds in spring but then nothing as summer lengthens into dog days of sweltering heat. It preferred the old foundation and her ministrations, a rising sun over the setting one it now faces. One cane grows tall above the rest, reaching east over the railing. There is a darkness over the yard.

 

Yvonnne Osborne

Yvonne Osborne is a fifth-generation Michigander who grew up on the family farm under the tutelage of a grandmother who loved Shakespeare before Shakespeare was cool.

She is a Pushcart-nominated poet, and her poetry and writing can be found in The Slippery Elm literary journal, Third Coast Review, Full of Crow, Midwest Review, Great Lakes Review, and in several anthologies. Let Evening Come is her debut novel. 

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