We Are Not the Young

Two women sit cross-legged on the floor, in a 70s style living room. The older pulls scrapbook after scrapbook off the wall, trying to find a name the younger recognizes. The younger simply smiles and remarks how she has been meaning to digitize her photographs. The older wakes up in the middle of the night, trying to remember the name of her dear friend, who died seven years ago and held her close when their canoe hit land at the lake, at the age of eight. Standing up next to her bed, her blood pressure drops and she blacks out. The younger wakes up in the middle of the night, trying to remember her to-do list, the one she has not written down, which starts with “visit Grandma,” includes “write more,” and ends with “be a better daughter.” On her morning run, her un-diagnosed brain tumour expands, and her legs fall out from under her. In the morning, the younger will tell the older she finally feels her age, that she skinned her knees like a baby and the sight of the blood made her feel dizzy. The older will tell the younger, it’s okay not to feel. When the younger dies, she is cremated, and there is no place for the older to visit, to leave white baby’s breath on her grave, so she tells the wind, “I feel, I feel.”

hwalrath

About Holly Walrath

Holly Lyn Walrath received her Master’s from the University of Denver in Creative Writing. Her poetry and fiction has appeared in The Vestal Review, Literary Orphans, and Kaleidotrope, among others. She wrangles writers as a freelance editor and volunteers with Writespace, a nonprofit literary center in Houston, Texas. Find her online @hollylynwalrath or hlwalrath.com.

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