She looked over various arrangements in a flower shop, bouncing from wall to wall and often returning to lead me to look at everything. With her at my side, I became a botanist overnight.

Once, she stopped in front of a rather large, vibrant selection, her head swaying side-to-side in charming anticipation like an elegant jack-in-the-box.

“Well, are you going to buy those for me?” she asked.

And an old man in a movie, reflecting on his life, would have said,

“I would have bought the store.”




Brian Burmeister is Program Chair of English and Communication at Ashford University. He earned his MFA in Creative Writing and Environment from Iowa State University, where he co-wrote the nonfiction play Farmscape: The Changing Rural Environment, published by Ice Cube Press.