Writing Prompt No. 95
My Mother tells me she hates white lilies.
They remind her of funerals she says. No one’s in particular just death in general. The stamens are poisonous to cats. She tells me this too. Every time I buy them. I love them. They don’t remind me of funerals. I don’t know if it’s true the stamen thing.
She takes them off by tucking her fingers in a tissue and sliding the sticky orange pollen away from the stem. I know the dust stains if it brushes your clothing but the flowers look strangely bare without the contrast of orange with the green stems and white petals. They look a little boring like a kitchen where everything shines but no one really cooks there. There’s no life. Now the flowers remind me of death. Before there was a possibility. The possibility of life.
The bees like them when they’re whole. Lovely big flowers for them to buzz around and gather up the fluffy pollen on their legs. The bees that fly in through the window circle around my Mother’s head instead. She brushes them away with her hand. She hits one by accident and it falls to the ground with a tiny thwump. It lies on its back trapping its wings underneath its body and wriggling its legs in the air. I flick it over with a piece of paper and carry it outside. We must protect the bees! I say back to my Mother but my voice is caught in the door as it slams shut behind me.
My Mother doesn’t notice that the bees are gone. She’s busy re-painting her fingernails a smooth peachy coral. She does this every Saturday before she meets her friends for a glass of wine at the bar just down the road. She fancies the man who owns it. After my Father died my Mother took all his pictures down. She packed them up in a box and left them in the attic to fade and mould. She’s still hopeful.
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