Words by Sarah Pettina
Poppies and roses freshly cut and arranged in buckets on the side of the road, a breath of Summer as the clouds gather overhead. A solitary, peeling shack stands sentry, reclaimed by the daisies and clove. A jar of change rests on the boarded window, and someone somewhere believes in the goodness of people. Dust is kicked into the air by the slowly picking up of winds, but in the country there’s no one to breathe it in.
A hand-painted sign leans against the shack: Sale – flowers $5. Dew-dotted grass sprouts up around it, slightly obscuring the lettering. Fresh puddles gather around, like a flooded creek in miniature. A car appears like a pinprick in the distance, lone but not lonely, packed with laughter and life. The windows are down to let in the roar of the wind and the sweet, earthy smell of the air before rain. Poppies and roses watch it approach much too quickly, stems turned towards it like sunflowers to a bomb blast.
The first drops arrive just before the thunder, rumbling beyond the horizons; the sounds of rockfall in the sky that promises Summer showers. The car is filled with strong coffee from a country town and the melodic drumming of rain on the windshield. Poppies and roses blow in the strengthening wind, bending at the stems and leaving behind petals like breadcrumbs.
Thunder and lighting, and rain.
Coffee and laughter, and life.
Poppies and roses, and tacky cellophane wrapping, taped to a pole on a wet country road.