Flowers and shears
Time did not stand still in her garden. It rushed at her with a fearsome emptiness as if she were rushing ground-ward from a high cold place or had been thrown into a waterfall in the moment it was freezing solid. Where was the all sweetness, the fullness, the abundance that the accumulation of years had been promised to bring? Where were her garden shears her fragile vague hands asked. The wind caught her hair and then her skirt, tugging and wishing; willing her to wander through the bushes and trees.
She cut each tulip slowly, catching the ragged edges of their shadows in her basket. The roses too were cut from their stalks into shadows, but round smooth gray scented ones. The cat streaked by, a ginger shadow among the grayer ones, and longer, sleeker, silly somehow.
She laughed and the wind stilled. Her skirt settled into a skirt shape once more; her hair was, well, hair shaped again. The shadows, only, had been blown away to where the wind went and all that was left for her was the pleasure of the bright edges of everything. It was enough, she thought, smiling, as she carried the old basket of bitterness into the snug, friendly house, aware only vaguely, that the basket was now empty except for flowers and for shears.
submitted at 6:23am
28 December 2008