“Stoic” by Alan David Ross

The path that I had chosen was much travelled and muddy after the rain.  It was well into November and mild with the sun high into its arc when I came upon it.  Right there, all four inches of it standing square in the middle of the path that I had chosen out of so many others.  It was obvious that this lone and defiant flower had grown from an errantly sown seed and would not be long for this world.  How could you have survived even this far into maturity?  What, with all of the clumsy plodding humans traipsing and stampeding through your world.  At this thought I noticed how the path had widened out around to the left and to the right of the precarious plot.  I could see the evidence of countless feet imprinted in the brown muck as my fellow hikers had deferred to her unlikely existence.  I have no clue as to your genus but you are beautiful indeed, as I stood and admired you for a moment or two longer.  Stepping over and around the poorly picked space I smiled down at the courageous imp and carried on about my business.  When returning home I went by another route, I was certainly not brave enough to chance what I might find going back the other way I had been.  People will come with their reckless intrusions and perhaps one careless foot fall will be the end of the brave little plant known to me now and for the rest of my life as the flower.  Forever, or at least until the end of my days that solitary blossom, out of time, out of season and out of place will meet the snows and its fate, but never in my heart.

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