CHICAGO—City bulldozers rolled through the South Side’s Marcus Garvey Park yesterday, crushing a single red rose growing from a sidewalk crack. The rose, which for residents symbolized hope in a sea of death and despair, was swiftly destroyed by the team of five 14-ton bulldozers, eliminating the last vestige of life and beauty from the dilapidated concrete park.
Locals reacted with disappointment.
“Every day I would pass that rose on my way to school,” Michelle Carver, 16, said. “Its beautiful scent and graceful petals lifted my spirits, giving me hope that tomorrow would be a better day.”
Added Kevon Harris, 19: “Last summer, my mother was sick, and I thought she was going to die. Every night, I would visit the rose and say a prayer to God that she would make it. And she did, thanks to that miracle rose.”
Upon hearing of the rose’s demise, Harris’ mother fell into a vegetative coma.
According to city officials, destruction of the rose was unavoidable.
“It had been scheduled for demolition for some time now,” explained Thomas Laughton, director of Chicago’s Department of Development. “And unfortunately, once something gets on the city’s demolition list, there’s really no way to get it off. It’s unfortunate for the people of that community, but there obviously was a reason for it or it wouldn’t have been on the list in the first place.”
Laughton also defended the use of five dozers to destroy the single flower.
“It is possible that a simple garden tool would have done the job,” he said. “But in this case, with the concrete nature of the park and the amount of time the rose was on the demolition list, we couldn’t afford to take any chances.”
According to Mac Richardson, the driver of one of the bulldozers, the rose put up very little fight. “I really wasn’t sure if I had gone over it or not,” Richardson said. “I just couldn’t feel its delicate petals and stem underneath an earth-moving 14-ton dozer. It wasn’t until I saw the flower’s limp, lifeless body ground into the cement behind me that I knew I hit it good.”
The other four bulldozers then followed suit, each rolling over the already-crushed flower until it disappeared into microscopic dust. In the end, no remains of the flower were left, as most of it was carried off by a gentle breeze, while some random particles remained lodged in the bulldozers’ tire treads.
The space occupied by the rose will not be vacant for long. City officials have already announced plans to replace it with a brand new weed.
“I think residents will greatly enjoy their new weed. It will be a healthy, strong one, planted in a natural weed setting of rocks and broken glass,” Department spokesperson Ellen Jacobs said. “I am confident it will go even better with the park’s abandoned cars and broken basketball hoops than the rose did. We are very excited about it.”