Things My Grandmother Taught Me
Lavender sprouted from my Grandmother’s fingertips and lilac nodded around her backdoor.
‘Let us pray,’ she’d say as she knelt, trowel in hand. ‘Amen, and one for the squirrel,’ was my cue to heave her up. Once we tumbled right over, her stick-thin frame cushioned by my stocky little body.
Today I’ve brought all her favourites – purple crocuses, alliums, tulips. I stick the fork into the rich soil and she raps on the window.
‘Who the heck are you?’ she hollers across the lawn.
The best thing about spring bulbs – you can plant them in hope or despair; they’ll bloom anyway.
M J Lewis 2016
It’s Friday already so I’m late for Friday Fiction. Thanks as ever to our talented host Rochelle and to C. E. Ayr for the beautiful photo. For more prose, purple and otherwise, click here.
Purple is one of my favourite garden colours, so my brain took me straight out into the garden. But hoping somebody writes, or has written, a story about the creation of Henry Perkin’s purple dye, Mauveine. If nobody’s done so, might have to do it myself. It did create a sensation at the time, not unlike a version of tulip fever.
Monday: Forgot my husband’s name. Surprisingly easy to cover.
Tuesday: Couldn’t remember the route to work. Somewhat trickier.
Wednesday: Stayed home.
Next day: Somewhere a wardrobe door swung drunkenly on broken hinges; a bookcase toppled, spilling its entire contents.
Another: Curtains sleepwalk from open windows.
And another: I am kneeling in the garden, someone‘s gnarled old hands holding my trowel. A young man bearing a beautiful mauve flowering plant is crossing the lawn.
He turns the label towards me and I read, ‘Phlox Paniculata, Purple Kiss. Names are so important don’t you think…’ He indicates the sticky label on his pullover. ‘Henry. What a considerate young man you are. Your family must be very proud.’
He grins. ‘Especially my Grandma.’
The wardrobe door gently closes; the bookcase temporarily rights itself. The windows are secure, the curtains still as I smile into his handsome face, recalling momentarily the first day I held him, rosy and new: my very own grandson, Henry.
(Flash fiction 160 words)