• A cactus wrinkling because even it can’t go this long without water;
• Two horses and mules with pricked ears and unspoken requests;
• Skein(s) of yarn and thread, embroidery patterns and tea towels, artists’ paints and pencils;
• The electric piano and sheet music for the A-level competition piece from high school beckoning to decades-older fingers;
• The printer laser toner cartridges and tiny chips needing surgical transfer;
• Matches plus one candle;
• The photo of all the aunts, cousins, her sister and mother in straw hats watching her hug the president, are they whispering “We told you not to tell?”
• Her decades-dead grandfather’s carry-on bag full of her living grandmother’s writing;
• Her sister’s lit up PET scan, terminal diagnosis;
• Hundreds of books in expectant silence. Judgment;
• The tomatoes ripening out of kitten reach.
⚬ The question, are there more waiting in the garden?
• A shifting specter, high in one corner—hope, desire, fear, imposter syndrome.
• A first keystroke. A beginning leading to an end.
MaxieJane Frazier is a retired military veteran and professor. Her writing is in The Ekphrastic Review, The Wrath-Bearing Tree, Bath Flash Fiction’s Snow Crow vol. 6, The Line Veterans Literary Review, and elsewhere. MaxieJane holds an MFA from Bennington Writing Seminars and is an editor for MicroLit Almanac. Her website is www.maxiejanefrazier.com.