TELL ME A STORY
Spring sends her memo and dormant seeds send out shoots. Buds breach a lilac branch. The wind smells like grass and bark and dreams. But the sky misreads and pings snow and sleet against my window. This is April in Wisconsin, spring’s message misconstrued.
A buzz, then a piano riff. I press the green dot and stare for a moment at my FaceTime self. Then, like a tulip unfolding, my screen reveals the downy-haired, blue-eyed, smiling face of a toddler. Gray skies and gray air are replaced by a rose-red shirt, daffodil hair and cloud-white teeth. I catch a whiff of baby shampoo. No, it’s a trick of my imagination. My favorite baby swings chubby legs from my daughter’s lap and says, “Gamma.”
I blow a kiss. “Stanley!” I ask what’s new, and he answers with phonemes and sibilants, each one delicate as a petal and just as mysterious. He belly laughs, and I do too. Then the Wi-Fi crackles and my daughter says she’ll call right back to perhaps catch a better connection.
Again, the buzz and the riff. This time, a crumpled face with one tear skimming Stanley’s cheek.
“I’m here,” I say, and the screen blurs as he hugs me to his chest.
From 2,000 miles, he invents a tale: mispronounced words, gestures to emphasize, a silly mug to underscore. I listen and try to understand his meaning. It is hidden, this embryo of speech, still germinating. In the background, Oregon’s spring shouts her sunny debut.
Nancy Jorgensen is a Wisconsin writer and musician. Her 2019 memoir, Go, Gwen, Go: A Family's Journey to Olympic Gold, was published by Meyer & Meyer Sport. Her choral education books are published by Hal Leonard Corporation and Lorenz Corporation. Other works appear at Prime Number Magazine, Cagibi, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, CHEAP POP, Brevity blog, and elsewhere.
Diamante Lavendar lives in the Midwest US. She enjoys using art as a medium to explore the issues of life with a strong emphasis on spirituality. The majority of her work is mixed media digital art which includes some or all of the following: photography, fractals, drawing, painting, and digital art. Her work can be viewed on her website at www.diamante-lavendar.pixels.com.