Planting Girls – by Torché Johnson (Adult)

The prompt for this short story was a haiku which read “Double rainbow – New parents plant rosemary, Smiling through their tears.”

Writer Torché Johnson gives us a brief and haunting interpretation of the haiku. We particularly liked the description of tears that are “unseen and dry”.  The story gets its power from a sense of understatement that allows the reader to fill in the blanks in his/her own way.

Congratulations, Torché!

Planting Girls

To Heather, the twin rainbows in the sky felt like lies. They were broken promises. Her tears weren’t wet, they weren’t salty rivulets painting the canvas of her sallow cheeks. They were unseen and dry. They were mute ghosts.
The clay felt heavy in her lap. But not heavier than the smothering sensation in her chest.
The car came to a stop and her husband spoke. His voice was strained. Like a thin blanket, stretching at its limits to swaddle two bodies when it only had enough fabric for one. His words gently pulled her back to the surface of her own thoughts that she was submerged under.
The couple exited the car, each carrying radiant plants. One a secretive lavender, and the other a childish yellow.
Rosemary and Chrysanthemum.
The names of their beautiful baby girls that would have been.
Learn more about the author:

Torché Johnson

Learn more about the contest which inspired this story:  Nutshell Narratives 2019-01

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