Writing prompt: Modified pollen

Time: 7 minutes. Click here to go to my list of prompts.

“Modified pollen” (quote at bottom by Alfred Tennyson, in ‘The Lotos Eaters’)

The hazard flower came to our county five years ago. Another invasive species, blown in on winds from the south and trucks. No one knows how exactly it came to exist, going on twenty years ago now. Terrorism? Science gone bad? A chance cross-pollination?

Pollen season started yesterday, so often course we are all indoors, with the windows closed and the filtration systems on. The count is still well below two inside, so all is well. It looks so beautiful out, and I am trapped inside with canned air. The season only lasts about a week.

In the last year or two, I’ve wondered… what would it be like? The ‘Lotos Eaters,’ as they call those exposed, seem serene and at peace. Damage to the emotional center of the brain, the doctors say, not so different from a lobotomy. But they seem at peace, and right now, I do not feel at peace. I watch the yellow dust drift, and know that until the hazard crews come and hose it all off, I will remain inside. Once an injured cat lay in my yard during pollen season, and I simply watched, unable to help, but unable not to care.

It’s 75 out, a beautiful day. A lovely day to take a walk.

“Thro’ every hollow cave and alley lone
Round and round the spicy downs the yellow Lotos-dust is blown.”


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