by Amy B. Moreno
a strong cup of tea with milk and one sugar
The kitchen is cloaked in smells of comfort food; like it’s wrapped up in an old dressing gown. Her hand trembles slightly as she pipes icing around the edges of the cake. She’s never tried this recipe before, never had the time. When the loop is completed, she brushes her hands together, wiping off the recent nerves. As the icing sets, her eyes grow restless and are drawn to the kitchen window, and the garden outside.
Today, it's coated in white, with all its softness curled up underneath; a cat tucking in her paws and closing her eyes. Nature’s favourite sweets peek through the frosting – red berries, shiny ivy, the first brave crocus.
The long-empty swings are silenced and frozen in time. They have forgotten how to dance, ankles becoming heavy. Memories of footprints pepper the lawn. The pair of rowan trees sigh in relief and sorrow at no longer being demanded and pulled on, but they don’t yet know what to do with their empty branches. The deflated footballs and rebellious teenage cigarette butts remain hidden, in forgotten corners. It’s a garden mosaic, measured on the doorframe with each growing inch, until the pieces were too big for the garden, too tall for the house.
An icy breeze whistles through the edge of the window frame, mingling with the warmth beating from the oven, and brushing against her cheek as a kiss. The frame will need replaced; she’s never had the time before. She begins to wash and tidy away the bowls and tools; she knows there are things she’d like to do, and she’ll find out what they are.
This is a time for waiting patiently – for the next season to arrive, and all it will entail.
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