I will see you in the spring

Lynlee Derrick

More stories from Lynlee Derrick

Emma Zawacki
March 15, 2021

Rivers of flowers flood my sunbathing body, lapping over my sides as if molding to me. This quasi-clay of flowers encapsulates my body.

My sides are undoubtedly captured as my eyes remain enraptured by the scene: a sea of remembering poppies, an overflow of dainty dahlias, a levee of luminous lavenders and aspiring anemones.

It’s a sight—as corny as it sounds to chew around in my mouth—to behold. It’s a sight I wish I could hold within my hands, soft as the petals themselves yet oh so crooked. Crooked fingers for a crooked mind, yet silky skin as they were rose petals themselves.

I, with all the time I spend in these fields, have become one of those flowers I adore myself. My feet plant into the molten earth, rich with hope, rich with the history of what had come before, every sunny spring without fail.

And it’s exactly what has been and what will be that brings me to the field over and over and over again; it’s an all-encompassing yet completely esoteric cycle that I’ve dug myself within. It’s a weed in my life as I am a perennial in its own.

These fields have been here since the beginning, so a part of me feels indebted. Every nook and cranny of my flowering heart feels as if life wouldn’t be as grandiose—as opulent or as palatial—if I don’t bring myself to sprout from the cold dirt as the sun does from the winter months.

So I dig deeper and deeper with frost that freezes my mind—the core of who I am—all while I pursue the seemingly unpersuable.

It’s a chase that never ends; I never end. I drag myself through seasons, through droughts, through heatwaves, through painful permafrosts all to try to stand out in the sea of flowers that has always drowned me.

I push my roots down farther, begging the Earth to give me a chance. I paint myself a little greener, desiring to mask the poison those pesticide ideals have placed within me. I stand a little taller, hoping that my frilly floating petals—ones I’ve labored and lost over—will cause a riot in even a stranger’s mind.

All this work, all this pain, all this push—it kills me. I am egregiously enervated by it, yet I can’t stop.

In that field, I feel alive as if erupting with color and all the passionate perfection I’ve fought hard for; I feel unstoppable when I finally beautifully bloom.

And for an ephemeral juncture of my life, I feel noticeable.

Even in that sea of ravishing reds and immaculate indigos, I weather a newfound—yet heartbreakingly transitory—fervor of confidence every time. If not the first, then it’s the only time I feel as if someone will care enough to look toward me for once, and maybe someone does.

But that moment—a dream, if those villainous pesticide ideals would have had a say—never lasts. It ends as soon as it begins, bittersweet yet yearned for.

For no one ever notices.

No one ever dares to pick my stem from the ground; no one ever dances close enough to my crooked yet soft ways to give me a chance. And who am I to blame them?

I am surrounded by the epicenter of all things delightful and delicate. I am surrounded by actual perfection, not my serpentine notion of it that I’ve failed to embody year after year.

Those flowers around me are worthy of the attention; even I sink under the awe, under the weight of their silencing shadows. I so desperately hanker to hungrily be one of them, to be the chosen too.

Yet when the sun harmlessly hides in the hemispheres once more—marking the end of my attempts, the end of me—I am still left unpicked and unchosen.

Despite the process, despite me trying more and more to catch someone’s eye, I remain a forsaken leftover of the spring’s offerings. I remain unwanted, and by the end of it all, even I don’t want myself.

I am trampled and battered and breaking and jaded and exasperated. I am oh so exasperated, overworked with myself as the sole reason to blame. No one owes me this chance I break myself to have; I just want to be picked—to be something to any someone.

I want to be more than a commodity for a foot’s landing, and I perilously wait for that to be true.

So I lie back down every year, letting the emptying field win once more—letting it drag me back under into the earthy roots once more.  With each of my forgotten breaths, my heart breaks a little more in the hopeless garden of blooming bleeding hearts.

And the cycle repeats, as it always has and as it always will, but a perennial can only weather so much—a heart can only take so much.

I hope to see you in the spring, or maybe the next.