The Slow-Cooked Sentence

Continuation of conversation between self and spring

Rachael Conlin Levy

Equally happy with socks and sunshine.

All winter, the space inside my chest was wrapped in a rosary two-hundred prayers long, each bead enclosed in onionskin and buried until spring when daffodils promised to bloom. When I’d wrangled my family into planting 200 bulbs last fall, I’d envisioned a river of daffodils meandering through the backyard lawn.

All winter I waited and wrote, stockpiling bushels of sentence and syntax, because in the marketplace words are cheap, and flowers buy Insta-hearts.


As spring neared, I searched the lawn for signs, and sent my youngest into the alley to play ball there rather than trample the grass. Finally, thick green spears poked out of the cold, wet earth, and bloomed. But my daffodil dream wasn’t a river, but a silly smattering, a spittle spray of cream, yellow, gold and apricot amongst the molehills. A goofy kinda beauty; I guess I should’ve buried the bulbs in clumps, rather than individual holes.


All winter the door remained closed. But now it’s flung wide, inviting a soft wind to warm my face, to lift hair near my temples that has yellowed, whitened. A breeze carries the sound of my last child playing in the garden. Soon he will bring me armfuls of narcissus, with their scent–cloying, old-womanish–more promise than perfume.

2 responses to “Continuation of conversation between self and spring”

  1. Christina says:

    Your descriptions of your (lovely!) daffodils sparked a fun memory for me–of a time in college, when late at night a friend and I arranged Christmas lights to form a star in the window using tape; then we went outside to view our handiwork, and you never saw a shape that was so completely unlike a star. I can almost feel the cold of the crunchy glaze of snow on our backs as we fell to the ground and rolled with laughter. Spring…yes, come in, come in 🙂

  2. Love the image of you rolling around in the snow, laughing at yourself. Thanks for sharing, Chris.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe: rss | email | twitter