"The Flowers" by Alice Walker

"The Flowers" by Alice Walker
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  • It seemed to Myop as she skipped lightly from hen house to pigpen to smokehouse that the days had never been as beautiful as these. 
  • Myop carried a short, knobby stick. Turning her back on the rusty boards of herfamily's sharecropper cabin, Myop walkedalong the fence till it ran into the streammade by the spring. 
  • Around the spring, where the family got drinking water, silver ferns and wildflowers grew. 
  • She had often been as far before, but the strangeness of the land made it not as pleasant as her usual haunts. It seemed gloomy in the little cove in which she found herself. The air was damp, the silence close and deep.
  • Today she made her own path, bouncing this way and that way, vaguely keeping an eye out for snakes. She found, in addition to various common but pretty ferns and leaves, an armful of strange blue flowers with velvety ridges and a sweet suds bush full of the brown, fragrant buds.
  • It was then she stepped smack into his eyes. All his clothes had rotted away except some threads of blue denim from his overalls.  
  • Myop gazed around the spot with interest. Very near where she'd stepped into the head was a wild pink rose. It was the rotted remains of a noose, a bit of shredding plowline, now blending benignly into the soil. 
  • Myop laid down her flowers. And the summer was over.
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