The Little Rose Button

The button I was given was no bigger than my thumb. As I held it, the one characteristic of the little button that popped out first was that it was very light. As in “I’m hollow” light. The top of the button was made to look like a tiny rose, and judging from the colour and feel of the petals, they had never known paint. The entire button was metal, even the rose, yet unlike the tin bottom, the rose was made of brass. The metallic scent stuck to my fingers the entire time I sat examining the little rose button. The bottom had a raised lump of tin with a hole through it as a means to attach the button to the garment, and inside the hole, I managed to pull out a small red cotton thread, telling me that the button didn’t belong on a coat, or on a jacket as a snap, but on a little red cotton sweater. By the button being metal and not plastic, and the thread being cotton and not polyester, the little rose button most likely came from the 1930’s. Yet, the most prominent aspect of the little rose button was that many of the petals beside the centre were pushed in, as if the button had been crushed at a specific pressure point. The tips of the rose petals were rubbed to a point to make the brass very shiny, leading me to believe that the sweater that the button belonged to was worn a lot, most likely by an old woman who wouldn’t refuse a way to keep warm. Because the Depression happened around the 1930’s, it is probably the best idea to assume that the old woman didn’t have much money to keep her house warm every day, so she would constantly wear her little red cotton sweater. There must have been one day where she was going out on a gravel road into town to buy some coal or firewood, and with the button’s string already beginning to fray, there was enough movement that final time for the little rose button to fall to the gravel road and eventually, someone or something went on top of it, causing it to become dented in a single place from the gravel’s edges below it. After a week or two of being outside, exposed to rain (which caused it to rust a bit on the back), it was noticed and picked up by someone who saw value in the little dented rose button, and therefore taken with them to find a new home. Many years and probably many homes later, through pockets of men to purses of women, it ended up on my desk with a story to tell.    

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One response to “The Little Rose Button

  1. Wow. I just loved this. Your attention to detail is astonishing in this piece. I particularly loved this sentence: ” Many years and probably many homes later, through pockets of men to purses of women, it ended up on my desk with a story to tell. ” This was just a delight to read.

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