A Visit That Will Never Be the Same Again

Image of Diana Tatska

Diana Tatska

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Sweat dripping down our faces as the sun beams down on us
The potholes are unavoidable, but we stopped resisting
From bumping into each other. The cows grazing in the pastures
Look over with blank expressions as we stare amused at their sight.
I greet my grandmother as my dogs rush to greet us back
Prints of their dirty paws now mark my clothes,
She leads us into the house where my cousins wait for us
With their lips spread and dimples protruding, they cheer with joy.
We pack tightly onto the stained couch, a toast is made
We drink for our health, happiness, and good stay.
I leave them to drink and eat, I slip on a pair of men’s flip flops
Dragging them under me as I make my way outside. The dogs greet me
And escort me into the next building with tails expressing their smiles
I trudge into the old room that we now use as a kitchen. Fifty years prior
It served as a barn, now the chickens, horses, and cows reside on the hill.
The kittens cuddle in a box on the wooden bench meowing for milk
Their mother rushes in and purrs for them to hush. I pour myself
A cup of fresh juice and follow the smell of food back,
I am greeted by the sounds of laughter and glassware clinking.
I slip away once again before I am trapped with more questions
And creek open the room that has been untouched for years.
I feel my finger across the bookshelf collecting dust
As I uncover the titles, it lands on a yellow but almost golden book
that I slip out and begin flipping through, a scrapbook, my grandmothers.
I take the book of stories with me, leaving my cup
Sure, I will return. The window’s warm wind pushes me back
Keeping me from entering the room, I used to sleep in. My pictures spread on shelves,
The smell of fresh laundry lingers in the air, they were preparing for me.
The familiar faces of toys look down on me from the bureau, not a speck of dust
On any of them. I pick up a pink bear that belonged to my grandma once,
Leaving the room with my hands full, the wind finally pushes me out.
The car stops and I’m shaken awake. Sleepily, I make out cattle being herded back home,
I shiver from the cold wind that has pushed the sun away. It’s getting dark
We get out silently, opening the gate and begin walking in almost a zig zag pattern.
We abruptly stop, my father lights a candle and sets it down. I look up
My grandmother looks back. Tears and sniffles are heard from my cousins
And my parents too. I lay the pink bear down beside the tombstone, it was my grandmothers
Birthday gift before she had passed. I whisper, “Happy birthday grandma”
I am met with a stream of tears leaving my eyes. We pray and remember her life
Then we head back to the car, I hand my mother the scrapbook, tears fill her eyes once more.
My dad starts the car, we sit quietly with only the sounds of pages flipping, slowly.


Image of April Showers


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