The Marigold That Grew From Greyscale

My freshman year of college I took an English composition class based on the life and works of Tupac Shakur. We focused most lessons on the poems written in his earlier years. I don’t even like poetry, but taking this class was one of the wisest decisions I’ve ever made.

I snapped this photo and it automatically turned out like this, the blood orange marigold vibrant against a grey background. It reminded me of Tupac’s poem “The Rose That Grew From Concrete,” labeled an autobiography. Tupac is the rose, the concrete is the projects, the crack in the concrete is the tiny escape plan.

That class helped me look at writing a bit differently, and I was so inspired by it that the words of some of his poems stuck with me for years. Seven years later I still get this poem about the rose stuck in my head. It’s always accompanied by a visual of a plot of dirt under the sidewalk with a rose sneaking its way up like a serpent, smashing the concrete and blooming through as if to say “piss off world, I beat your odds.”

I remember that new perspective the class gave me. If a man who’s life had a metaphorical slab of concrete in front of it could still find the sliver of opportunity and create a legend out of it, then there’s no reason why anyone else can’t do it.

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About the Author: Becky