Sunday, August 31, 2014

Daucus carota, my favorite trash flower

I don't believe in weeds.


I remember the squinting face of some asshole not quite drunk enough to not notice me as he recommended that I take the Queen Anne's Lace bloom from behind my ear. I kept my eyes on him. What could he possibly be talking about? How ugly was this going to get?

A series of words I can't quite remember relayed to me that he thought my flower was poisonous.  I think I laughed, or maybe waved him away, or maybe busted some botanical knowledge, but I know I did not remove that flower from its perch. I definitely took another sip of my drink.


Did you know that all the little flowers that make up the Queen Anne's Lace bloom are the softest thing? Find the biggest, flattest flower you can, check for bees and run it across your cheek. Now your forehead. Now your lips. You'll see.


I am a child, alone and lonely, wandering through the abandoned tennis courts near my house, or the woods behind the high school football field, or the spaces near my grandparents' house in Trafford. I am looking for things to know. I am looking for secret treasures. I am looking for a world of my own. I find a little black dot in the center of the flower, a little black dot in the center of every big one. I pull up a few and see a little carrot. A little dot, a little carrot, holy shit.

And it is all mine.


My Brooklyn is a bad place to find lace. It grows where other things don't, along with thistle and morning glory. It hangs out near fences and broken glass, underpasses and hidden places. It is a roadside gift; other people try to make it trashy but it just resists with all that airy whiteness. Or, perhaps, it is trashy and that just means something bigger (better) in the summer than it usually does.


For more scientific words on Queen Anne's Lace, check out the Brooklyn Botanical Garden's weed of the month post.

Photo from Minnesota Seasons


Anonymous said...


Amanda said...

I will always remember that hot night of noodles and sake and good times then walking across the canal with you and K, and you plucking three mimosa blossoms to tuck behind each of our ears...

Carrie said...

I am a flower flinger, I admit.