The giant yellow flowers in Gramma’s garden are taller than I, with rough faces, dark brown, wrinkled. Their fuzzy stems stand thicker than my thumb and I‘m not allowed to touch, do not touch, do NOT touch, do not, stand here next to Gramma, right here; it’s a little scary.

The tallest flower’s proud, chin tilted to the bright, glaring sun, wide leaves pressing the other flowers away: step back. I need to squint against the sun to look at it, and duck away. A friendlier flower stands closer, to my side. It’s looking down at me, but sideways, shy. A bumblebee tickles its face, and the flower winks it away with the flutter of a petal. The largest of its leaves curve towards me; it wants to pat my shoulder, my head, smooth my hair. I can tell, and it smiles because I can tell. 

I like that flower. It’s nice.

Gramma asks me if I know what kind of flowers these are. 

I’m not sure about the big one, but this one seems nice, I point.

Gramma throws her hands over her head, howling laughter, then slaps her knees. Both hands, I am so funny, but I don‘t know why. It confuses me.

Well, I think you’re right about that, but that isn’t what I mean. Do you know their names?

I shrug. Mary?

She‘s very surprised at my answer, she’s smiling very big with her eyes wide open and glossy. Don’t you know what these flowers are called? 

I really don’t know what she wants from me. I already answered this question. My bottom feels itchy, uncomfortable. The sun shines in my eyes whenever I look up at Gramma. It‘s right behind her curly auburn head. My eyes are tearing a little, my nose tickles and I rub at it. 

Her brow furrows. Don’t you know that different flowers have different names? Like a rose. A rose is a type of flower. What type is this? You don’t know? Well, take a guess. 

I feel like maybe I‘m in trouble, I‘m doing something wrong. Lion flowers?

Gramma smiles but shakes her head, pretty good guess. They’re sunflowers, she says, but I don’t think they look like the sun. I think we should call them lion flowers, but she says no one will understand if we call them that. It’s too close to dandelions. I realize she’s right, but I’m not certain it’s a good reason. I tuck myself under the leaves of Mary Flower, shielded from the sun, but the bumblebee doesn‘t want to share and buzzes in my ear. I squeal, and Gramma says settle down, let‘s have tea in the shade.