The Poppies Grow

Today, on the train home, I noticed the California Poppies were blooming.

For those who aren’t familiar with this, imagine your standard red straw poppy (the sort that grow in Flanders).  Now make the whole blossom- center and all- bright fluorescent orange.  

They’re not specifically native to Oregon, but they’ve spread here, and in the fair, mild weather we’ve been having the last week or so they’re growing in more places than I’ve ever seen them.  They spring up in rocky, hostile places where other wildflowers shy away, like in cracks between rocks or the joints between two pieces of concrete.  They’re a beautiful flower, invasive but not harmful to native plants, and perhaps a bit exotic in their bright colors.

It’s a poppy without the baggage of the white and red varieties, the way I hope to be one day, growing in the same shape but a new color free from the stain of the battlefield.  Those flowers, to me, are hope.

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