Only a few people and maybe two stray cats remember when this house was purple, not tan. Every autumn except the last, a white Maltese often frolicked through the yellow ginkgo fans confettied on the sidewalk like he was too late for a parade. A pair of wood-planked swings hanging from the giant oak out back rock themselves to sleep in the shade of the late afternoon sun. Farther up the street, close to the dead end, an infant loses her binky each day right around five o’clock. Mr. and Mrs. Miller from the yellow house on the corner, sit on their porch and loudly discuss the origin of the word crocus, as she sprinkles water on hers. It’s Greek, she shouts. It’s Hebrew, he shouts back. It’s actually Sanskrit, I yell, for saffron. They nod and wave in agreement or to encourage me to move along, I’m unsure which. The fat, pompous squirrel who’s been wreaking havoc in my yard all week, struts up and down the street as if taunting me with his mouth full, almost like he fears there will not be a tomorrow.
Renuka Raghavan focuses on prose and poetry. She is the author of Out of the Blue (Big Table Publishing, 2017) a collection of short fiction and poetry, and more recently, The Face I Desire (Nixes Mate, 2019). Renuka is a reader for Indolent Books and the Lily Poetry Review. She also serves as the fiction book reviewer at Červená Barva Press, and is a co-founder of the Poetry Sisters Collective.