After Fanny Howe’s “The Angels”
The fields of mourning were really swimming pools in our aunt’s subdivision. Pools that had since been filled in and turned over into squares of lawn. There is nothing there now but the wood planks of the privacy fence–painted picnic red–and the memory of the feeling of indoor carpet under my wet feet. We mourned you and the dives you must have dove. Your sunburned cheeks hot as angel’s breath. I could go on about the books we read in our aunt’s dining room, lying on the floor on our stomachs–all the ogres and lost children. The bad elves. The night you died, the angels filled the doorways with their golden gaze. The last bits of night trembling, like heat over their heads.
Lydia Copeland Gwyn’s stories and poems have appeared in Elm Leaves Journal, New World Writing, The Florida Review, Glimmer Train, Gone Lawn, SmokeLong Quarterly, Appalachian Heritage, and elsewhere. Her book of flash fiction, Tiny Doors, is available from Another New Calligraphy.
A Song for Lydia