Morning Glory Blue

Bright blue morning glories twined in complicated patterns around the strings Mom tied. She figured flowers could camouflage anything, even the ugly metal garbage cans behind our house. There was something about the petals’ pure blue geometry. On cool summer mornings, I would traipse out the back door of our 1951 balloon-framed house. Light as a feather, my house, with all its vertical studs hammered with nails from sill to rafters. Trustworthy.

The flowers unfolded slowly like pages of a small, precious book—only if I got to the garbage cans before the warm sun hit their made-to-last galvanized metal. My flowers hid from the sun, opened in darkness, like a blue angel’s wings. I crept up to them so as not to startle the tender green leaves. I swear those flowers leaned towards me like they had a secret to share, as if the tendrils would coil around my tiny shoulders to hug me.

If the day was overcast, the blue would last longer. Hot days—my glories closed before I could slip out to greet them. I worshipped those heavenly-blue morning glories. They gave me a sky-blue hope, a hug, a secret Mom had no time to whisper.

Last night I dreamt about Mother. She was still alive, sitting on a couch in a dark room. But the lack of sun had not closed her. She looked exactly as she did just before she died—wrinkles, alert eyes, arthritic hands. I felt as if she had always been there on the couch, in the dark, just within reach, waiting for me to notice her.

I looked one more time into her blue eyes. She was in no hurry now. She had no house to clean, no students to teach, no children to raise.

She leaned towards me, opening to the day.

Sandra Frye is a retired English teacher who lives in Madison, Wisconsin. Sandra has been writing poems and stories since the age of ten. After teaching for thirty years, she is happy to finally focus her energy on writing. Her first book, African Dreams, is about serving with the Peace Corps in Africa from 1969 to 1971. Her second book, Fatherless, is the story of her unique childhood in the 1950s and her yearning for a traditional family. Leaving Lessons is the title of her collection of poems, and The Weight of Dreams, her third book, is about the joys and challenges of raising four sons while teaching high school English. All are available on Amazon.

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