Memory is the uninvited guest that demands too much, takes more than it gives. Remember the summer you’d walk to the creek with your grandpa, it asks with a lilt of a demand in its voice. Remember how you wanted to take the goose’s eggs home for breakfast? The image of you and your brother throwing stones at the mother goose still haunts you. Memory laughs, then takes pity, then places a balm on the shame with the recollection of cold creek water flowing around your ankles, and you remember:
Your grandpa’s pale legs perched beside yours. Your brother wading around the water, searching for crayfish. The mother goose settling back onto her nest, one eye never wavering.
Nikoletta Gjoni is a fiction and creative nonfiction writer living outside of Washington, D.C. Her work has been nominated for the PEN/Robert J. Dau prize, Best of the Net, Best Microfiction, and has been a London Independent Story Prize anthology selection. She is currently at work on her first novel. View Gjoni's publications at www.ngjoni.com or follow her on Twitter @NikiGjoni or on Bluesky @nikigjoni.bsky.social.