The Purple Rose of D.C.

I see her every morning. The woman with the purple beanie and scarf, forever surrounded by amassed bulging baggage, bursting with miscellaneous cloths. The seams of the zippers have simply given up on containing her belongings, and billow out sporadically.

And so she sits,

wilting away with the obvious signs of resignation. She always seems to be attempting, to no avail, to grasp an ounce of sleep. But sleep for how long? Has this woman any concern of getting 8 hours of sleep, with a healthy dose of REM? In her clear discomfort, does she dream? If so, what of? Every morning, upon seeing her, I conjure and create questions that are always left unanswered.

I notice people scuttling by her like insects, without paying her a cent, not even a glance. She has become a routine presence, present but img_2468becoming invisible with time. An insignificant blind spot. According to her habitat, the rose has served her purpose. She grew, blossomed, and decayed.

In her beginning, she was tended to, given nourishment to flourish, coddled and admired. She even had visitors on a regular basis, who would land on her sculpted petals to simply converse, to simply acknowledge. In her lifetime, she provoked many pleasures and broke many dermis, causing bloody spillages of pain and deceit. But alas, her environment and its inhabitants no longer have a need for her existence. Her once brightly colored petals, strong scent, and nectar are far from attracting any pollinators. Even her thorns, toughened and sharpened over time, have ceased to exist. She sits bare, with her guard down, being held by her decomposing roots. She fights alone the harshness and obstacles of her environment, beaten by gusts of hate and showers of loneliness. Her fortress of bags merely skew incoming traffic, but she alone battles the rest. Yet, there she is, fulfilling the duty of every living creature,


How is this once ravishing purple rose so forgotten? Who is/was this purple rose, who rarely lifts her leaves to the sun? What happened to this rose?  

*  *  *

The car suddenly breaks.

A hairy man with a fierce temper yells out from his car. My dad simply shakes his head and mutters

“hijo de puta”

and we continue to move. I glance one last time at my rose, watching her slump a little more with the weight of life.

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