Mimosa : a memory

Today as i walked past a flower stall, a familiar memory crossed my path:

Once upon a time, when i was 13, i had a friend who was also a sweetheart.
One day he brought me a bouquet of mimosa flowers.
Except that what actually happened, was that i wasn’t at home, and he waited on my doorstep.
In the half-light of a Parisian apartment corridor, he stood in shadow looking shady to some, his olive skin darker for the loud yellow of the mimosa he carried: a well-meaning (in her mind perhaps) and thoroughly fearful neighbour called the police because a suspicious young man was loitering outside her flat door.
She was rather old and very much alone, thin like a baby bird that never got the chance to be picked up, coddled and fed.
And her soul carried enough sadness so as to be blind to the burst of colour and citrusy-soft fragrance, and all that tingly adolescent joy, right there, on her doorstep.
Police officers arrived, and saw a young man waiting for his sweetheart with flowers in his arms. And then they left.
They may well have spared a few vulgar words about nosy neighbours calling the police on false errands. Or perhaps they were wistfully amused.
Eventually i arrived.
And now, whenever mimosa crosses my path…mimosa, this reluctant queen-flower who wears her constellated buds so incredibly, unabashedly yellow like yellow ought to be…
i think back to the first time a young man brought me flowers, in the half-light of a Parisian summer afternoon.


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