Doing a workout in the garden, June gets a glow
|June wasn’t 20 anymore, wasn’t 30 anymore, and after her birthday came, 40 would be in the rear-view too. She had never been popular, but it had always helped to be vigorous and healthy, to have strangers stop her on the street to ask if she ran marathons. She was proud to have an athletic feminine glow to match the roses in her little front garden, or the plastic sunflowers dangling from her earrings, or the tulips clustering their stems and petals in a design across the chest of her t-shirt.
One day after she watered her roses and did some push-ups, as her nose got very far down in the grass, she spotted me - yes, me, Glow Weed. I sometimes am called a wallflower, but I consider myself a weed nonetheless. After all, people hardly ever really see me, and I am hardly decorative.
“Good morning, little wallflower,” she whispered, as though I could hear. I gave no answer, but brushed her cheek as she did her push-ups.
The time came when June got a little older, when she liked to come in sooner out of the heat or cold; the time even came when she stopped wearing her sunflower earrings and strangers no longer stopped her in the street and the doctor said she was overweight. So she was back in the garden doing push-ups on her knees, tired and distressed, and she cursed me when I tickled her nose. “You’re a simple weed, a little yellow-petal cousin of a cabbage,” she whispered to me as she sweated and cried. I gave no answer, but though my petals were wilting in the heat, I still gently brushed her cheek.
However, when she looks at me now, I think to her very hard, as though she can hear the words: “I am Glow Weed, and I have never been anything else; when you were young I was the same.”
She does her push-ups still and has never plucked me out.