Fragile Things

Published in Flying South 2021 Print Anthology Journal.


My grandfather ate like a bird, laughed like a child, and partied from behind the safety of his guitar. I remember him as being quiet. It’s not that he didn’t speak, but his voice was soft, and he tossed mumbled words over a shoulder as he walked away in midsentence. He didn’t stay around to finish his own thought, much less to wait for our reaction.

All of my memories of him are in the big city, but he was raised in the country and farmed for much of his life. Perhaps his restlessness was muscle memory from the endless chores of tending the land and the animals. In the city, he had a tiny workshop where he did the kind of woodwork that might have been beautiful if he had allowed himself time. He never did. His pieces were an amalgam of brilliant creativity and impatient execution. Endearing, but not enduring. 

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