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Clouds heave over the mountains, rip & rain — at last. Years of drought, yet spring drenches everything with jasmine stars & citrus blooms. The hummingbirds are drunk. All night, the mockingbird. Each dawn the call & call of crows. Tomorrow, I will have been his widow for five years. At first, no tears. Everything I was told would happen as I mourned, didn’t. No sobs, no rage, no stage one, two, three. No welcome dreams in which he’d appear. His cat mourned better than I, lying on her side for weeks across his room’s threshold, stretched as much as she could, back paws against one side of the doorjamb, front paws to the other. Waiting for him. I paced the house, the streets. No tears. I cleaned & sewed & raked & wrote. Sat in the jacaranda’s shade, watched its shadow invade the orchard. Walked the beach. Stopped. Stooped for stones – how they’d huddle in my palm: a white one tarred black, the one like a fist, & another with a hole bored straight through its center. I threw them back. The metaphors too blatant. Nights, I’d walk from the kitchen to the orchard & measure it, one foot in front of the other, head bent, toes to heel, heel to toes, whispering numbers. Thirty-four feet wide. Thirty-three feet deep. And still no tears, no tears.
‘Clouds Heave’ from These Many Rooms (c) 2019 by Laure-Anne Bosselaar. Appears with permission of Four Way Books. All rights reserved.