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Sept 14, 2022

On Yellow’s Many Flavors: Submarines, Ducks, and Daisies, Oh My

Jennifer Schneider

We chose yellow with care. A symbol of sweet corn and traffic jam cautions. Warm, fleshy embraces. A mix of citric pineapple and acorn squash. Star and passion fruit. Spicy curry paste. Savory cauliflower bakes. Neither reason nor room for haste (or waste). Time a sweet blend of lemonade and thyme. Each of us unintentionally unprepared. Yellow a safer bet. Dollars and cents in demand. Rents rising. Each of us unsure of how to respond to unexpected commands. 

 

As limbs lengthened and locks unleashed, the garage morphed into a refuse for all things ungreased. A refuge for decades, decadence, and escapades. Dances with destiny. Baby strollers. Lint rollers. Stacks of books both hard and soft cover. Grisham brushed shoulders with Good Night Moon. Mother Goose hugged kings (both Stephen and Martin Luther Jr.). Dynamics both Astro and retro. Tastes a raging river of sophistication and domestication. Age a curious conception of twisted twine and leather unrefined. 

 

Marigolds and demigods bloomed, then morphed. All contents precious. Fibers and vines unrefined. Testaments to lost time. Down parkas with no zippers. Gloves with no mitts. Yellowed baseball bats. Lined legal pads. All notes scrawled. Denim with torn knees and faded seats. Balls of knitting yarn. Plumped and primed. Needles of sizes 7, 8, and 9. Resident souls grew. Remaining soles burned rubber. Capable of absorbing shock. And accumulating stock.

 

Undersized track shoes, most overworn. Oversized texts, most pages torn. Quantum mechanics. Chemical dynamics. Strings of text with neither pretext nor context. Mason jars and juice boxes. Pots of plants. Piles of ants. Flowers (daisies, daffodils, and dandelions) dried. All bunches tied. Lemonade yellow handknits. Cables carefully choreographed. 

 

Boxes of drawings. Carefully sketched then etched. Carvings of time and testimony. To be. To have been. Cartons of photos beckoned. All stars a blend of surreptitious secrecy and false pretexts of captivity. Eyes shone in a perpetual state of prime time. Glass and gloss long faded. Corners yellowed. Stray tape. Stray bottles. Both scotch-brand. Many photos were punctured. Many also labeled. Fashion, frivolity, and personality on full display. Pupils remained bright. North stars. Guiding lights. Afloat between pockets of air, dust, and dander that remained in between. Years layered of longing for open trails and cars with no details. Lyrics layered of Rush and Springsteen.

 

A family of birds had built a nest. All twigs fully engaged. I spied the mama bird’s white crest. 

Time for new souls to thread fibers. All knots tied. A stranger in my own home. The place more tomb than marker of time. I grabbed a lollipop, then sealed the final box. Released yellowed lace drapes. Consumed memories of lemon custard crepes. Reflections no longer relevant. 

 

Inhale. Exhale. Consume. I streamed lyrics of Mellencamp and Oates. Cheeks slightly yellowed. Life a rainbow of hues. Squeezed plastic submarines, ducks, daisies, oh my. Anything to avoid the blues. Love on display, fully revealed. Blew citrus-scented wishes, then swallowed. No need to pick keys with no locks. Hard stops. 

Jen Schneider is an educator who lives, writes, and works in small spaces throughout Pennsylvania. Recent works include A Collection of Recollections, Invisible InkOn Habits & Habitats, and Blindfolds, Bruises, and Breakups.