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Samantha Martinez

Name Rosemary, Rosemary they say originally from the Mediterranean which in Latin means dew of the sea. Date of entry unknown: I remember being sprouted from a tough, dry ground, only receiving water once in a while, allowing me to expand my roots slowly. Around me were my three older plants, and later on, the pitiful woman I call mother gave birth to seven more despite my pleas. I would plead to her to stop sprouting because we were poor, POOR something she could not grasp. I was forced to take root much faster than my family as I was in charge of nourishing my siblings and washing their aromatic leaves, feeling how they were connected by a delicate stem pricking myself each time. However, after 21 years, I had my own seed to worry about. I still remember coming home each day, being unnourished from traveling miles in a pot, somehow finding my way home each time only to find that there was no food in the garden knowing better than to ask my mother plant I would withhold the pain I felt in my stem. The only thing my son received daily when in my womb was water and the nutrients my soil provided me with. In two years’ time, my sunshine was pulled away from me; I was being ripped away from my sprout by a man who picked me up from my roots and confined me until we reached what was known as “ the land where dreams came true.” I had made it; I had escaped my poverty but at what cost. The cost of leaving my tiny sprout behind with the motherly plant I hated? With the plant, I had promised to shelter him from? NO, NO, I could not accept this reality, so I went back, back, back on my own terms. I remember hiding through the bushes that seemed familiar, the sunshine that became the fear of being caught, the abuse I had to withstand each day ripping my long, skinny, and once beautiful leaves from my stem, allowing me to feel each emotion and temperature brush my skin. Then when I had given up all hope, I started to smell an air that I had grown to find comforting; I had made it, I made it back to my land to see my bud. Forwarding a couple of months, the MAN returned, pleading for me to grab my once rejected bud and go back to America. My innocent and fragile self back then thought it was the best thing to do. So I go back except this time my flowerlet is feeling the way the dirt becomes an accessory on our delicate green leaves, how the ground goes from cold to hot from dry to wet—counting the days that would go by, by taking note of when the sun rose and when it set. In a week’s time, we made it; I had successively done the impossible Twice. Nevertheless, life was not all sunshine and daisies but more like pouring rain and thunder. I was getting physically and mentally abused by this MAN who swore he was going to change. Plumule, my plumule, was asking for a sister because he felt lonely and unwanted, but I had learned from my momma plants flaws. I had learned not to bring an innocent seed into a world full of neglect. Then my Plumule told me something that shattered my heart; he missed his “mom,” he missed the motherly plant I had grown to hate. So we returned, we went back to the tunnels of darkness, the place where chills ran up and down your peduncle no matter the weather. The mountains that stunk of fear and desperation reminding me of my once comforting smell of bitterness with a slight sweetness. An aroma that would start to burn if you stood and smelt it for too long. Again my bud and I found ourselves in our Tierra, Linda, y Querida (land), and this time; I promised myself that I would start a life in the land I wanted to escape from so severely. But it is said that once you see shadows, they will never leave your side, and in 6 months, the man returned, and I was back by his side in the promised land. Again how could I be so naive to believe his trancing words? He would leave for months on end, leaving me alone in a tiny room in a city I did not know with no nourishment and no one to talk to. It got so bad that I felt as though I was shriveling and drying up in the corner I called home. One thing, however, did stay true about my promise to myself, and that was never neglecting my flowerlet as my mother plant did to me, which is why for ten years, I would attempt the impossible just to see my plumule for a few weeks until his wish came true and my daughter sprout was born. She was born, and the bud who wished for her so badly could not enjoy the blessing God gave me. He gave me this blessing to have someone to talk to in my solidarity and a guardian angel to guide me through my torment life. Always remember my kids the Name is rosemary, rosemary they say originally from the Mediterranean, which in Latin means dew of the sea.

A journal that is written using the stories my vigorous mother told at “storytime.”
By the daughter that became familiar with neglect through a different path.

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