C. Dale YoungA short story by faculty member C. Dale Young appears at The Normal School:

The potted ficus in the corner of Flora Diaz’s kitchen, the ficus barely four-feet tall and planted in a rust-colored ceramic pot, the one that she watered every six days had, for the first time in the almost four decades she had owned it, started showing some yellowing leaves. This did not escape Flora Diaz’s attention. Nor had it escaped Javier Castillo’s attention; he made a point of pointing it out when he first told me about that particular time in his life. The ficus was one of the only things Flora Diaz brought with her to California when she left the island. Flora Diaz knew that Ficus benjamina, the weeping fig, only offered up yellowing leaves in times of stress, of over-watering or under-watering. And Flora Diaz was quite sure she had not altered the routine she had adopted in caring for this plant. As she studied the ficus, she discovered a whitish patch, discovered that one of the three thinner trunks twisted together had a white ring roughly midway between the soil of the pot and the small umbrella of branches. She noted this but could not discern the significance of it, and this bothered her. It bothered her more than she realized.

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