The last time he saw her, she was sitting on the corner of the grubby white wire chair on the porch, the black vintage clutch gripped tightly in her hands. By then, her hands and pale skin were covered with creases and blue veins had sprouted up her arms. She would regularly pluck at her blouse and try to cover the blemishes. Her body was propped up in the chair, a pillow in the hollow of her back. Each Sunday morning, for the past seventeen years, he would work on the flowers by the driveway, occasionally glancing in her direction. Her husband had passed away three years ago, so he was waiting. Perhaps another year, perhaps more. The church bells were faint, irregular, mimicking her breathing. As the bells grew tired, her body sunk into the chair.


fiction by
Carien Smith

image by
kerry rawlinson