“All I want are some roses,” Mom said as she looked out the back window at the grass behind our public housing unit. She longed to plant a rosebush, but that was against housing authority rules. They wanted all the units to conform to a sterile, institutional standard and individual gardens were not allowed. It was the 1960’s and I was six years old. Mom decided to call the housing authority and ask if it would be all right anyway. After all, it wasn’t asking for much.
“There’s a rosebush out back,” he said, “That’s against the rules. Individual gardens aren’t allowed.”