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Volume 2, Issue 2
Summer 2006:

Unexpected Bloom at the Bronx Botanical Garden

David Elpern

Cell 2 Soul. 2006 Summer; 2(2):a3

Sitting outside the Garden Shop of the Bronx Botanical Garden, I was enjoying incipient spring and the panoply of humanity strolling by. All relaxed. All appreciative of this Oasis.

A thin woman with a brown lunch bag sits down to share my bench. She wears the unhealthy look of underprivilege: scrawny, bad teeth, a hang-dog aspect. Her daughter, perhaps ten years old, a smiling, healthy vibrant child in parka and pink ski cap flits about, a harbinger of spring, a hopeful bloom.

The woman looks my way. I smile. She says, "When you don't got no money, you can always come here for a great day."

The orchid show inside the Conservatory was spectacular. Hundreds of varieties, proud, gay, fanciful. Orchideae grand and diminutive. Colors and scope amazing. On a quiet sidewalk outside, a solitary blossom tree, ignored by the orchid-hungry masses, steals the show.

Later, all I recall are plum blossoms and the faery child.

spare choirs and brown beds
how heartening these ume —
Caps and blossoms - Pink!

Photograph by Matsuo Kinsaku

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