This magpie is building on last week's poem "Through the Door" and is a work of fiction.
As my cousin Gerald and I were reminiscing about the past, Aunt Abigail came to mind. Gerald spoke lovingly of his mother, but with much sadness as he related his recent visit to his childhood home. I had known her well when I was younger, but like most of us, I grew up and drifted away. She was tall and thin with wispy white hair, and always wore an apron. For all her apparent frailty, she had the vim and vigor of someone nearly half her age. She worked in her garden every morning before the heat of the day, weeding her precious roses. Some of them were descendants of roses from the Royal Garden of Queen Elizabeth, which had been sent to her over 30 years ago. She had tenderly cared for them all those years. Her most prized bush was the yellow rose, called the Spirit of Freedom, that was presented to her by her husband (known to everyone as "the Duke"), the year before he died.
|Photo courtesy of Magpie Tales|
Gerald had moved up north after graduation some years ago. Now with both his parents gone, he was the sole heir to the house and grounds, and had returned to dispose of the property. Her garden is hidden behind a high wall, and the gate has been locked since her death last year.
He took the rusty key and slowly opened the lock, stiff from exposure to the elements.
He opened the gate and stared into the garden. It was overgrown with vines, and small trees sprouting from nuts buried by squirrels. There upon the stone wall leading to the gardener's shed sat his mother's old watering can. It was half full of water just as if she were tending her precious roses, her solitary companions these last years. Gerald glanced around the garden and spotted his mother's yellow rose bush among the weeds. It had one beautiful yellow blossom that shone with beads of water, creating a miniature rainbow in each drop. As he turned, he saw a fleeting figure with wispy white hair and an apron freshly smudged with dirt.