It seemed the plum trees
were already in bloom
but when I picked a branch
what fell—so much like flowers—
~ Izumi Shikibu
January snowed gently under the
Wolf Moon. My Human watched her garden through glass, her eyes swollen with
“She needs to see me.”
the voice that turns life into memory and bone.
“Let me show her that I’m here.”
“You don’t know my Human.” My
words were a growl that shook snow from branches.
world won’t be changed for the sake of one.
The Universe was pulling me
away. I pulled back, held on to ropes made of love and tears, turned myself
into memory, pushed it into the Universe. “See my soul. See her.”
From a snowy garden, a lifetime
away, I see my Human for the first time. Her mouth says, “Our house isn’t big
enough for all this energy”. But her soul, the truest part of her, sings, “She’s an angel—alive, happy, family.”
Years after, I’m falling from a
boat. Water hits my belly, fills my mouth, steals my breath. But my Human’s
arms embrace me. We struggle, but she makes things right.
Then, I show the Universe my
Human and me around the house, living and doing, being the shadows of each
other’s souls. Together… always.
Universe stopped my memory reel. If you
are to her what she is to you, she will know you never left.
“She knows. I just want her to
are snow and breath and moonlight. She won’t see you.
The Universe sighed.
I sprouted as a snow tree in
My Human ran to the garden,
reached for a snow blossom, I crumbled. She sobbed.
“No,” I said to the Universe,
after my Human began to laugh through tears, her warm fingers tracing Angel on snow that used to be a tree, that
used to be me, “I told you.”
I wrote this short tale a handful of years ago, for a friend who had
just lost part of her furry family. Since October (and All Hallows’
Eve) always leaves me thinking about loved ones
who no longer breathe in our world, sharing it today felt just right.
for Poets and Storytellers
United--Writers’ Pantry #91: Musing on the Factual and the Imaginary.