Resistance, in Yellow | Ann Kathryn Kelly


Yellow rose topiary, big blooms billowing atop ball, ruffled roses commanding attention. Admiration. A riotous ball of yellow, like a sun that cheers, like a yolk that nourishes, a lemon that quenches, like a spreading feeling that warms. Armored in leather gloves, I snip and shape and ooh and ahh. It gives and gives, summer into autumn, a profusion of scent, this Rosa Hybrid cultivar that lives up to its name: “Happy Go Lucky.” Before first frost I wrap my beauty in burlap against winds that blow, mounded piles of snow that grow and eat bark-brown mulch, swallowing summer. I look out my kitchen window on a February morning and see burlap bent to the ground and I imagine the worst: a snap, my denuded topiary falling under the weight of swirling white, landing under burlap. Waiting to be found. My yellow sun in the back yard no more, like the one in the sky that left and won’t return. But, then! March morning, thankful thaw, I see the burlap once more standing tall. My yellow sun, risen again! I think of yellow often these days, bold and brave, a yellow-and-blue resistance halfway around the world. Today’s David rising against Goliath. I think of my yellow rose topiary, standing, falling, standing again. A tiny resistance in my back yard under blue sky. Yellow and blue, in nature. In a flag. Never say die.

Ann Kathryn Kelly’s writing has appeared in a number of literary journals. | Twitter and Instagram: @annkkelly

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