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Cloche Portrait

There's an innocence to pigtails and skinned knees, chasing butterflies with hope of capture just to set them free. The memories come and go, puddling like rain on parched pavement. My mind has become a cavern of chasms. Wars waged every day within my own sunken ravine, of the girl I was and the woman I've become.

My grandmother lived to be a hundred, married to the same man for seventy-five years. She canned her own beans and lived to see her grandchildren have families of their own. Though, we canned nothing and grabbed meals on the go between lessons and little league.

"Touch your hand. Describe how it feels." As a child this was a simple request my grandmother would incite. I'd rattle off a wet, soft, cold or some equally lazy descriptor with carefree childhood ease.

The request has stuck with me. I glance down at my aged hands now and wonder what she felt. It never occurred to me to ask the question in return. I wonder if she felt scars, lines of wear, and creases of regret. No one knows how much life they get to live, but I know it's too late for a seventy-fifth wedding anniversary.

Maybe, I could can some beans.

Story by:

Grace Black

19 February 2015