I stumble upon some unlikely, perennial blossoms
amongst the weeds of my

Because I love pressing
flowers, and I love to have pressed flowers, I bent
to the ground in search of choice

I find myself reaching
for the best ones,
the most perfect buds,
bright and breathing.

This instinct for careful discernment is odd. Why do I need to pick
those flowers that are screaming, “I am alive!” to kill
the pages of a heavy book?

I pause.

The question confounds me but I go on reaching for those
stems with the most whole offerings.

The truth is, I like to watch the flowers die;
to see them fade and
to myself be the cause of their deterioration.

But it is equally true that I feel the keenest pleasure,
relief almost,
when I notice how much my
pressed flowers
retain their pigmentation, hold fiercely onto their color.

I bury
these blooms in dust and paper,
with all the zeal of one holding a lump of coal, trying to make a diamond through squeezing and strife, only to then
pluck them out
from between the pages of the book, and marvel that they are vibrant matter still.

Changed, but still lovely, despite all my efforts.

For Cherwell, maintaining editorial independence is vital. We are run entirely by and for students. To ensure independence, we receive no funding from the University and are reliant on obtaining other income, such as advertisements. Due to the current global situation, such sources are being limited significantly and we anticipate a tough time ahead – for us and fellow student journalists across the country.

So, if you can, please consider donating. We really appreciate any support you’re able to provide; it’ll all go towards helping with our running costs. Even if you can't support us monetarily, please consider sharing articles with friends, families, colleagues - it all helps!

Thank you!