Photo Story: Root Systems

An image of two mushrooms growing in the grass.The afternoon before, we’d hiked. The path was mostly paved. Still, the trip was an escape from their children.

“If you could be any plant…”

“Lavender,” said Sara.

“I could see that. You’re calming,” said Laxmi. “I’d choose dandelion.”

“A mushroom,” I said, with simmering scorn for the game I’d created.

“They’re well connected, like you—those root systems!” Laxmi said sweetly.

The next morning on the deck, a dispute over breastfeeding. Precipitously, they’re over the waterfall’s edge, Sara’s disapproval gushing, Laxmi’s hands raised in panic. I observe the minor war over breakfast, as red-eyed vireos sing anxiously about us.

Dominique Zino is a professor at LaGuardia Community College in New York City. A recent sabbatical granted her valuable time to pursue her creative writing goals.

Photographer: Bernard Spragg

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