You’re rinsing blueberries at the sink when the message comes through that he wants to move on. You let the faucet run and look up with wet eyes at your windowsill, beyond to the copper light on the cornfields that border your backyard. That night, you dream your lost love from long ago left his wife and came to you, sat next to you in a chair too small for two. You collect antiques with chipping paint, yellowed paper, rust and spokes and wheelbarrows. You fill a home with the sour smell of weathered wood, of old gone things, and you’re still holding on. You like to be reminded: life is a series of leavings.
A tumbleweed, too, you tell anyone who’ll listen, is old and dry, but did you know? It’s part of a living plant. It ages and splits from root and stem, drifts away in the wind. It scatters seeds as it travels. See? There is always life left. Even in the settled and known, the rough-hewn, the weary. The same thing, shifted slightly, gets hit by the slant of new light.
And there we are. A story standing on a wet sidewalk in an unfamiliar city far from home. Like tumbleweeds. Severed. Seeking. Leaving.
We are tamed and tired, touched and torn.
Still something within longs for the wind.
Dina L. Relles lives and writes in rural Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Atlantic, Atticus Review, Barrelhouse Online, matchbook, Monkeybicycle, Paper Darts, CHEAP POP, River Teeth, and Wigleaf, among others, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is an Assistant Prose Poetry Editor at Pithead Chapel and penning her first book—a memoir in micro-prose. Find her at www.dinarelles.com or @DinaLRelles.
Artwork by: Angie Hedman
Angie Hedman is an artist, writer, gallery director/curator, and high school art educator who resides in Muncie, IN with her husband, two kids, and geriatric dog. Her photography and art have been published, or are forthcoming in Gravel, The Broken Plate, Drunk Monkeys, Montana Mouthful, and 805 Lit+Art.