Three Squeezes

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, please share your story.

Peonies, marigolds, asters, tulips. My small hands stroke delicate yellow, pink, blue, and I hold the petals up to the light of the bright window in awe. When the strong sunlight beams down, the flowers remind me of fairy wings in their transparency. Mama and I sit side by side at the table, facing the window that looks out onto the garden. We press flowers. Her large, weathered hands expertly peel the petals off the pages of the heavy dictionaries. If a flower has a brown edge, she trims it, and gingerly sticks the remainder to the inside of our scrapbook.

Mama’s forehead is wrinkled in concentration. Her black hair is clasped on the very top of her head, and she wears tortoise spectacles, the cheap ones you get at the dollar store, perched on the very tip of her nose. Sunspots have begun to form on her cheeks, and I have a strange urge to touch them. Earlier, we wandered hand in hand around the garden, choosing flowers to press. I point at the Daffodil. “My favorite,” I say. “I know,” she winks, and pulls it from the earth. Her favorite is the camellia.

These days, the dusk air is warm, but there’s a hint of winter. The sunsets are breathtaking, strokes of yellow and pink as if someone painted them. They are pastel colors...

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