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  • Mo MacPhail

This Yellow Tulip




This yellow tulip has returned to us every year for the past fourteen years, despite what has become a hostile environment. It has become surrounded by an outdoor garage of sorts hidden under a homemade silver-topped lean-too, where birds come to eat crumbs of bread and seed thrown atop it by a mother who looks down and misses the garden that once was, planted by beautiful souls who were once were. 

There were other gardens too back in those days, surrounding our house. They were filled with marigolds and more, colorful chrysanthemums, dancing daisies, and daffodils.

 It was so beautiful that when you came upon this yard with its lush green grass and perfectly manicured blueberry bushes you couldn’t help but pause for the awe. 

But alas, it wasn’t meant to be, for you see, a force of nature arrived one day in the form of two little human souls, made up of good old-fashioned frogs, snails, and puppy dog tails intent on conquering and transforming these back yard gardens and rock walls that held them. 

They soon became broken down rubble from games of King of the Mountain and battles won with imaginary and real neighboring little souls who gleefully joined in the Narnia like land captured in their imagination. 

This mama tried at first to create space for both, setting down invisible lines with her pointed fingers, telling these small souls where they should and should not go, only to her head hung chagrin, for a small soul cannot be contained by imaginary lines set forth by grown souls who forget the day and way of a child’s mind and play. Gratefully though, the blueberry bushes survived and even thrived on neglect and many games of hide-n-seek that helped take out the rock walls and flowers, except for this one small yellow friend who returns every year and offers us the bounty of her persistent beauty.

We now eagerly anticipate her arrival every spring. We protect her as best we can with more finger pointed invisible lines and remind those who live and play close not to dig or trample for here, behind our house, just below the silver slanted man-made roof that softly drips rainwater down its groves on the spot where she grows, lives this yellow tulip, our bright flaxen friend who blooms and drinks what is offered,


and reminds us to take care of what surrounds us so we don’t forget the day and way made possible by the before in this moment of liminal space. 

Amen, (and a little woman)



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© 2020 Mo MacPhail                                                    momacphail@aol.com

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