My daffodils are tall and green and fat with hidden
blooms. Here and there, a bit of yellow
peeks between curtains of green, a fallen slip showing beneath a dress. The robins bounce across the yard, pecking
here and there in sun-softened soil.
At the local garden store, I order a yard of topsoil for my
new raised bed and I see there’s a flyer for a boy—a young man, really—who has
We take V’s dress to the dry cleaners to have it
altered. She stands upon a rickety pressboard
table while the woman tucks and pins and marks with white dressmaker
chalk. A man comes in to pick up his dry
cleaning. He chats with Squints and Filibuster
then nods to V, standing upon the rickety table.
“That’s a lovely dress.”
V blushes and smiles and looks down while the woman begins
marking the hem. The skin on the back of
her hands is taut and I can see thick veins, purple and blue, running along knobby
bones. “Every time I measure another
spot on this hem, it changes.” She yanks
out the safety pins and begins again. “It’s
not going to have the same hem,” she snaps. "I can't do a hidden hem on my machine."
“We’re not going to be angry about the hem,” I tell her. “I’m sure you’ll do a better job than I ever
She nods and begins measuring and folding again.
Finally, she is satisfied with her work. V steps down from the rickety table and goes
to change back into her sweats.
The cashier can’t figure out the register. She sighs and grumbles and sighs some more
before putting in a random price. “I don’t
know what it’s going to cost you,” she says, handing us a bill for forty
We run to the drugstore to pick up a prescription and here,
too, the cashier is grumpy.
And when we head for milk, I see another poster of the
missing boy. He is smiling in the picture;
standing in the kitchen. And I can’t
help—on this first day without jackets—but think of his parents and how frustration over the day's trials must seem trivial to them now.
The robins continue to hop across the grass and the
daffodils peek from behind the curtains and even the hyacinths are daring to
show their purples and whites.
I hope the boy finds his way home, that the posters will
be removed from store windows.
Tonight I resolve not to dwell on the frustrations of the day.
Labels: Creative non-fiction