I bought them closed. Soft yellow buds cradled in their delicate papery shells, long green leaves reaching for their sunny faces. I bought them closed and brought them home, laying them on the floor near the heater, wrapped in their floral bag, to coax them into opening.
Day by day, they stretched, each a little more awake than the last. I watched them, looking toward them each morning and I readied myself for work or for the gym.
Yesterday, as I saw them, I recognized they had opened, their delicate inner cup of egg-yolk yellow bright and ready to face the day.
I cut them down with a pair of trimming scissors, my ritual knife being tucked away in the bedroom with the main altar. I poured water from my own bottle into their vase and removed the dried flowers that had stood there since autumn. Five yellow blossoms went into the vase, gifted to me years ago from my spiritual advisor.
Back they went upon the altar beside my grotesque Bob and I smiled. They brightened the room, just as she will when she returns, having clawed and scraped her way from the Underworld, the taste of pomegranate still heavy on her tongue, and she will explode from the earth with the violent colors of spring flowers and heavy rains.
And, again, we will know the joy of spring.