Christopher and Ginny

By: Aberdeen Bird


They told me not to step on thistles

but proceeded to say that we have something in common

because they, too, have Scottish veins.

I wish they’d take care to not step on me, either.

Not from fear of being squished, but fear of impaling

soft, uncalloused soles that never wander down

gravel roads, barefoot in July.


I always took pride in my indifference

roaming over sharp stones

and planting roots on mountainsides

with Rudbeckia and Salix.


My mother gathers these for her brother each year

but her opponent can no longer

race to find the first blooms of the season and offer them

on her doormat in loving triumph.


There is a stone in my mother’s sewing room,

perched on the windowsill, complacent and unmoving.

Etched are the words:

“Dear Chris,

Get well soon!

I took this from the foundation of your bridge

So you better get up and go return it!”

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