Marinella Farella – Yellow Flowers

One step, slowly.
I look at the hedge that smartly follows the curve of the sidewalk: no branches cross the freshly painted fence, no bright green leaves while falling will dirty the pavement.
Two steps, on tiptoe.
I eye the building beyond the hedge : it is large, white, and vaguely Art Nouveau-styled, rising from the tidy, fresh garden like a doll’s house: it is a maiden house.
Three steps.
Something moves: a woman appears at one of the windows of the second floor. She is cleaning something on the open pane. Afterwards, I hear a child’s voice, thin like a dog’s yelp; he turns around, laughs and bends down.
Four steps.
The small building surrounded by vegetation does not exist yet, the hedge has disappeared. In my memory, a tangle of very high wild stalks overflowed by thorns and muddy yellow flowers blows up.
I passed by every morning, on my way to school, hand in hand with my mother. On the bend I looked on the other side of the rusty net and I sighed: they were beautiful, those ugly wild flowers. I wanted to bring a bunch of them to my teacher. She would place them in the old splintered vase, over the cupboard, after repeating with a little smile that, yes, they were beautiful. And I would enjoy, for the whole day, the strange shade of their corollas, imagining wild meadows and secret hiding places.
Therefore, my mother, as my accomplice, reached out an arm. Her perfumed cotton sleeve disappeared among the scrubwood and her hand plucked some flowers for me with difficulty: they were beautiful, they did not want to die.
Five steps.
I feel the wind produced by a car running on the road. The sun light hurts my eyes once again, the snow-white house reappears, the window at the second floor closes. There is nothing left of what I remember.
I don’t stop, I don’t listen anymore. I feel a little pain inside. Another step and the green corner is behind me. The road keeps on running in front of me.
I would like those yellow flowers once more.

 

 

Translation by Paola Roveda (edited by Francesca Ceccarelli)