The flowers that rested in the vase were drooping. They had been picked a week prior, plucked by the tan fingers of a tough/pretty girl and sold to a serious man who ran a café. The man like flowers, both the sight and smell, and prided himself in knowing many by name. The flowers arrived to the café on Wednesday, crisp and bright, and would usually stay vertical until Saturday. On Sunday, they were thrown out or given to someone who didn’t mind a bit of a wilt. For a year, that someone was me. I would take them home, struggling to hold all of them in one hand as I bicycled across town, over the bridge, and up the hill to my house.
Once home, I would trim the mushy ends and discard any that were too dead. The ones that passed my test would end up in various jars and bottles scattered around the house, adding a sprig of color to the cracked walls.
I liked the flowers. I liked their beauty, even though it was temporary, especially because it was temporary.
When the blossoms faded to mute, I cast them out the window where the sudden movement would frighten the chickens, causing them to squawk and hop about. The chickens pecked at the flowers with mild interest and their scaly toes pressed on the stalks, breaking down the structures until they returned to the dirt.