He Brings Her Leaves

He brings her leaves. Look at the lace on them, he says. Grubby little fingers point to frosty patterns on the crimson and amber treasures. I picked them off the ground for you, he says. I got the very best ones! These—he says, waving them high above his head—these were the prettiest of all of them. Thank you, she says, kissing the top of his brown, closely cropped curls, breathing in the dirty little dog smell that is hard playing boy. I’ve never seen prettier leaves, she says. His chest puffs with pride. And he leaves.

Gnarled fingers covered in translucent skin trace the veins. They follow the lines, remembering. The lace is gone as is the richness of that autumn’s jewel tones. But safely preserved between pages of Longfellow’s prose, the pressed leaves carry a memory. It was just yesterday, wasn’t it? I remember giving you those, he says. She looks at the man. No, my stinky little angel gave me these, she says. He swallows the catch in his throat before kissing the top of her silvery white curls. And he leaves.

Without fail he visits the morning of the first frost of every year. Arthritic fingers clutch the bouquet of oak branches he carefully trimmed himself. Only the prettiest ones make the journey. It’s a long walk to her place at the top of the hill. But he has time. Nothing but time. And memories. He slowly stoops and places the token covered with nature’s lace at the base of the white granite pillar that has marked her grave for almost two decades.
And he leaves.

48 thoughts on “He Brings Her Leaves

  1. I have no words…….to say “I loved it” and felt such deep emotion reading it does not do it justice. Absolutely beautiful!

  2. This is beautiful.
    A very touching appreciation of connections over time, over generations.
    How short life is, how enduring love is.
    Thank you.

  3. Marian, this is such a well-written story. You caught my attention, set the hook, gently pulled me over to your universe, and before I knew it I was in your basket saying “I had no idea I was going here!” Then I was gutted, fried and had. Loved the story and the ending. You are such a master writer. I always look forward to your posts. :) Eric

  4. It is too bad that only those who read your blog will be able to enjoy and have time to think about this post. It was very, very good. Tip

    • Me too! :) You’ve been missing it seems. But not… I see you’ve been blogging as usual but have been absent from my feed. I wrote this a while ago, just redid the posting date because I wanted it up front for a while. Hugs darling. xoxox Happy Easter!

  5. boundless emotions filter through each line and reach me/us
    but words seem to sit in silence of its simple beauty of love that goes on
    Thank you for sharing this wonderful art spun from emotions
    Take Care…You Matter..
    )0(
    maryrose

  6. Ha, so funny, when I read this I remembered it and was so stunned that you didn’t credit the author at the end…the author which was you in 2012! That means there was an impact and you are amazing!… Well anyway, I loved it just as much today as I did years ago :)

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