The Bloodroot Flower

The Bloodroot Flower

by Val Dering Rojas

As he cuts the blossoms for the bouquet, the sticky red sap forms miniscule orbs at the bottom of each stem. Tiny skulls on tiny spines. Small planets barely hanging on.

He thinks he’s saving it– he knows from experience that the petals begin to drop with pollination; it’s May now, it will go dormant soon.

I don’t tell him it’s already dead.

The flower is also called the Sanguinaria: Latin for bleeding. They say it’s the iron in cells that give blood its ruby glow as it mixes with oxygen.

He brings them to a family fiesta; it’s the birthday of a saint. They won’t wonder about my absence, and I don’t wonder which saint.

He forgets to call to check in on me, but I’ve already spoken with the doctor. The doctor asks me about tablespoons: How much do think you’ve lost?

I think that’s a trick question.

Across town, Abuelas are crafting crepe paper flowers for the little girls in shades of pink, magenta, maroon, as the belly of a piñata bursts open, relinquishing its treasure.

  1. This might be one of my favorites of your, Val. Thank you for writing like you do and about what you do!

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