Bernadette Loves the Word Susurration, the Word Wisteria, the Words Cumulus, Nimbus, and Sky

_MG_4374 (2) She listens to the conversation of flowers. How silent they seem. But no, Bernadette knows the petals whisper in the invisible pitch of angels, a pitch only disillusioned seamstresses can hear, those whose fingers have treadled the hems of a thousand thousand dresses, dresses whose owners use their skirts as makeshift handkerchiefs to catch their tears as they weep inconsolably. Her mother thinks she is addle-pated. “Bernadette,” she says,”your Grandma was crazy in the head. Thought PawPaw’s ghost lived in the kitchen cupboard. Left his pipe on the top shelf for him to smoke. Loopy as a Bessie bug. Don’t you wander down Grandma’s road. You must understand it’s awful lonely.” Bernadette just shuts her ears to her mama’s advice. She only wants to hear the green-voiced grasses, the grey-tinged clouds,the violet-blue wisteria. What a haunting song, not beautiful exactly, but then, she realizes there is no word–with all the words she knows, and even if she learned all the languages of the world that are and have ever been–no word exists adequate to describe such stillness reverberating in every atom of every cell of a meadow, what ancient astronomer’s called the music of the spheres, but Bernadette now knows is the music of poppies and coreopsis and daisies and primroses and deep yellow yarrow, dandelions, cornflower, calirhoe, and purslane. And she feels so, so sorry, just heartsick, for those who cannot hear this song that she hears.

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