After a Heartless Winter

Image of sunflowersIn May I tilled the garden, so swept up in the work that I churned beyond the boundaries of Grandma’s old plot into rocky soil where a dead maple had recently been removed. An animal, I said, when the tiller turned up bones. A beloved pet. Then the skull, silver crowns glinting in its jaw.

I knelt. “Hello. I’m your granddaughter, Alice. We’ve never met, but your wife left me this house.” Mute bone. A hard man, cruel, I’d been told, who’d abandoned his bewildered family.

The sunflowers I planted there flourished. They don’t need kind soil to grow strong.

Juliana Gray’s third poetry collection is Honeymoon Palsy (Measure Press, 2017). An Alabama native, she lives in western New York and teaches at Alfred University.

Photo Credit: alain 01789

5 Responses to “After a Heartless Winter”

  1. Tally says:

    Oh this is really good – a perfect, chilling story in a tiny pace.

  2. egypt says:

    What a strong story in so few words. Very imaginative. I like the brief plot development. Great job from a fellow writer and poet.

  3. Ann M says:

    Love this 🙂

  4. david says:

    Powerful story, I am going to have to give this 100 word story thing a try!

  5. Susan says:

    Ah, the power of 100 words! Wonderful.

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