Uproot

By: Zoey Greenwald

June 1967

The summer air makes everything melt a little bit. That’s something I’m sure of. The days have been melting for the entirety of the month now, each second dripping away from a solid ounce of hope to translucent film which I find more and more difficult to catch between my fingers. It seems like time moves all too slow. Everything around me— everything outside of me—  moves so fast, but I just stay put. In this little garden, with these little petals, moving slower, slower, slower. And that’s how June’s been.

One thing that melts into the air is the stench of the roses. Their perfume almost blends along with the humidity here, caught right in the middle of the atmosphere. It reminds me of last summer. It reminds me of you.

Some roses get sent out to San Francisco. Some get handed out to policemen or woven into chains that try to hold the nation together. We see it on TV. From TV it looks like they never die. They never show them wilting, anyway. Because everything’s so fast, I suppose. The camera doesn’t have time to catch decay.

When Alice went through through the looking-glass she found roses and they were jealous. I remember just how jealous they were. Alice was a flower that could move. I wonder what my roses think. I’d hope that they would be jealous, too. Unless they don’t know that I am a flower who can move. Do they think that I’m one of them, frightened into a spine-straight shock with roots that reach past where my soul ends?

Some Flowers Who Can Move get sent out to San Francisco. Some disown men like you and find new lives in dreams that smell like herbs and sweat and charcoal. They join the whirlpool stirring up around them. They uproot.

They call it Flower Power, what they’re doing. I wonder if they know how much power it takes to stay right here. To wait. To remain.

The power’s not in the flower at all— not for me. It’s in the roots.

Because no matter how much you feel like uprooting, you just can’t avoid disrupting the soil.