Buttermilk and Rose Petals (Appx 1:12 min read)

Silhouettes of students with graduate caps in a row on sunset background. Graduation ceremony at university web banner.
onthetargetnews.com

On my morning walk I usually pray, plan and take photos of flowers I see on my path.  I was never a flowers kind of girl.  As I grow older, I love them.  A clean linen tablecloth and fresh flowers on the dining room table is the perfect setting.  On the back patio, I have a few plants but it is my dream to have a beautiful rosebush in my backyard someday.

A gentleman in his 2nd floor window with the curtains wide open just taking in deep breaths. His eyes are focused on nothing in particular. The top of his head is bald.  A tight uneven afro covers the rest of his head.

A woman sits on her bright red, brick front porch. She is reading the newspaper aloud.  There is no one near her. There is no phone in sight.  There are no earbuds in her ears. There is no shame on her face when she sees me, see her, reading to no one. Who is her audience? Does she just enjoy the sound of her own voice? She seems content with her audience of zero.

A man waters his dirt.  There is no grass.  Maybe there are seeds planted under the brown and rocky dirt. Diligently, with a smile on his face, he waters his dirt.

I wave to get the attention of an older black woman.  She is vigorously sweeping the street in front of her home.  There is a large blown up photo of a graduate on her lawn.  He has a royal blue cap and gown on.  There are “Congratulations” balloons tied to her stairs. The SUV crossover vehicle parked in front of her home also has balloons tied to it and a makeshift banner.  As she sweeps, there is a smile fixed on her face. The light she carries is as if this moment is still happening.  I wave, point to the photo and say, “That’s beautiful.  Congratulations!” She is startled.  I have invaded the happiness she thought she was sharing with herself. She replies, “I didn’t do it.  He did it.”  While still in motion and now across the street from her home I said, “You did something.”  Her smile grows two sizes bigger.  “God bless you,” she says.  She takes the leopard print mask from under her chin and covers her mouth.  You can still see the glimmer in her eyes as she sweeps.

By Shaun Liriano

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