June 8, 2013


Tell me that story again about the young girl and the horse (eager expression)
What story is that?  (pale blue hazy eyes)
You know…about the black horse and the girl with the yellow braids. (expectant)
When did I tell you that story? (puzzled frown)
Years ago…when I was little.
I think that's a book…not a story…I must have read it to you.
No! You told me the story. I remember. (emphatic)
Then you tell me the story (gentle smile)
The girl had a black horse. The horse got sick. It died.
What a sad story.
No, it was wonderful. The way you told it. Wonderful.
How could it be wonderful when the horse dies? (frown)
But that's the point. Everyone…everything…dies.
Too sad. Not a happy story. (slight shaking of head)
It was happy. The girl loved the horse. He loved her.
Love hurts. (a sigh)
Yes, but it can be magical.
I wish I could remember telling you that story. How old were you? (quizzical frown)
I was eight or nine. It was at the old house.
Which house was that?
The old house. With the big living room. Remember the red sofa? (small pat on arthritic hand)
No. I don't remember that house or the sofa.
You loved that house. You never wanted to leave.
So why did I? (curiosity)
Everyone grew up. Moved away. The house was too big for you.
Imagine that. A house that's too big. (another soft sigh)
Not when we were growing up. It was perfect.
Everything is perfect for a little while. Then the perfection goes away. (slight head shake)
But the memories are there. The memories of what was perfect.
Everything goes away. Even the memories.
I wish you remembered the story. The girl and the horse had so many adventures. (a frown)
I'm sorry. I don't remember.
Didn't you used to have a horse?
No. I never had a horse.
You said you did. When you were little and living on Grandpa's farm.
My father never had a farm.
Grandpa's farm. Remember? The big barn? The huge pasture? The orchards? (insistence)
A farm? I don't recall a farm. (emphatic)
Tell me what you remember. From when you were little.
Oh, sweetheart, I was never little. I was never young. (soft smile, tender pat on youthful hand)
Everyone has to grow up. You start little and you grow up.
Seems to me, I was always old and tired. Old and tired. (resignation)
I'll get the photo albums. You'll remember when you see the photos. (hopeful)
Can we look at the photos later? I'm a little sleepy right now.(a yawn)
Of course. You have a rest. I'll be back later.
I'm sorry I didn't remember the story of the horse and the girl with the yellow braids.
It's okay, Grandma. You rest now.  (a sweet kiss placed on a wrinkled cheek)
You get the albums and we'll look at them later, okay?
I'll get the albums while you have a nap.
Come back in an hour. Don't let me sleep past four. (checking clock on night table)
I won't. You go to sleep. I'll see you in a bit. (a soft sigh and a closing door)

ktn © 2013

Sharing with Woven Dreams and Poets United...


Brian Miller said...

at first this was cute....and then it got really sad for me...i was envisioning a child and their parent still...and i guess they are but...

heavy stuff....

hedgewitch said...

My first thought is how terrifying, if even memories can go, and then I feel the kiss on the cheek, the hand pats, and see that what is important within the memories is still there. Really well done, Talon, (and as always, stunning photos, top and bottom.)

Snaggle Tooth said...

So sad when the memories fade too... Poor Granma! A horse can be the perfect friend sometimes... I can't imagine ever forgetting my special animals.
Lazy dragonfly n intelligent Equine-

Granny Annie said...

We know she really had told the story but we will never know why the tale where everyone dies was made into such a happy memory for a child. Sigh.

aka_andrea said...

This speaks to me on so many levels...so touching, so sad, so real.

veggiesyarnsandtails said...

Very sad, but touching and powerful words. You've painted the scene so well. Interesting how already 3 of us at Woven Dreams today have taken this prompt in a similar direction.

Hugs, G

anthonynorth said...

Beautifully touching and deep. Great write.

Teri Casper said...

Very touching words and story.
Love the way you used the descriptie words at the end of the sentence too.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Wow! This is so moving! Aside from the tragic loss of memory (which often perturbs family more than the sufferer) it makes me think of the way our connections are made and kept, especially between family members, especially between daughters and their mothers' mothers.
I also love the way you presented this to us, in the dialogue.

Geraldine said...

PS: Forgot to mention LOVE your new header. I'm a big fan of dragon flies. :<) I changed my MPP header too, felt like a bit of an update was overdue. LOL

Happy Week to you Kim.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I adore your dragonfly banner. I loved this story/conversation. I relate to the not-remembering, which is frequent for me these days. I enjoyed the warmth, love and understanding of the younger person. Very tenderly told. With great love.

Nataša Dolenc said...

"Imagine that. A house that's too big." - liked that part, and the part about memories.. it's such a bittersweet conversation. it's hard to imagine being old and having little or no memory of who you were and what you did or maybe not even remembering people you held dear.

Nataša Dolenc said...

ps: it just goes to how people leave imprints behind in those who remain.

Bon said...

bittersweet account of two a generation apart.

Libby Meador said...

We never know in sharing our stories what "imprints" are made; this was beautiful.

Susan said...

Yes, that's how it goes! Sadness, of course, but also gentle love in the way youth cares for age. In the years before her death at 102, Grandmother and I spent more and more time with photographs and her stories changed. But because we both enjoyed that our arms touched and we breathed together, I stopped objecting and went along for the ride. I love how you embroider the parallel between Grandma and horse, how you see the actors in motion with body language. That is something Gertrude Stein refused to do, and OH! I wish she had.

Mary said...

What a moving story this was. So sad that the grandma does not remember the story that had such an impact on the girl. So true that everything is perfect for a while.....and then it changes. Like Grandma had changed, and now the girl will have to share the story with Grandma. Life comes full circle.

coordinatedmayhem said...

I liked your use of parentheses. The notes within made the conversation closer - more visual. Almost like the reader was present, or watching the performance of a play - the parentheses acting as stage directions. A touching poem.

Robyn Greenhouse said...

This was beautifully written. So hard sometimes as loved ones get older.

jemj47 said...

Talon, that was an awesome story. I could see the grandmother, and child in their earnest conversation, and the grandmother trying very hard to remember. The memories gone. Loved the picture of the horse too.

Mama Zen said...

This is so beautifully told, Talon.

Vesper said...

Everything is perfect for a little while. Then the perfection goes away.
There's too much truth in that... What a beautiful, poignant dialogue, Talon.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Talon - this is a wonderful story - and certainly should be published .. so others can read and perhaps realise what might happen.

Such a gentle telling, and such a gorgeous granddaughter ... there must have been much love with the horse ... grandma's horse ... you've expressed the telling, shown us the ambience .. yes I felt I was there ..

... and the photos - the dragonfly and the black beauty ..

Lovely - Hilary

Frieda said...

this is such a sad story... but it's beautifully written.

Grace said...

Very sad but lovely narration ~ The two voices weaving, one young, and the other old, keeps one guessing until the end ~ This is a gem to read this morning ~

Nana Jo said...

Such love, such tenderness, such a fragile dance. You words hold the reins of the story as in turn I become the little girl, the old woman, forever entwined in the hands of both. Thank you.

the walking man said...

Talon that was a great narrative, just perfectly written. My granny lived to 105 t about 103 I became her older brother Simon...it was cool. But she was a bossy little girl! Granny was much nicer but Catherine was cool, she told me of her dreams of getting away from the farm. and Damned if she didn't moved herself to teacher college and all the way across Canada as lone female in 1912! Stayed there for 5 years teaching school.

Linda said...

Like Brian, I thought it was going to be a cute mother/child story. Instead it is evidence of what sometimes happens to our memories. I felt the sadness from both of them.

ssmatthews451 said...

I do like the style in which this story is told and the compassion portrayed.

G-Man said...

Into everyones life a little rain must fall.
Very sweet....:-)

iamlostinthot said...

Beautifully written. I don't really have words to express how deeply this touched me. Thank you.

Magyar said...

Gripping, K_!

then lost
these years long gone
memories of the dark
and tomorrows may never be
only now


Patricia said...

The girl loved the horse.

Your writing is memory... made new

LL Cool Joe said...

Oh and I meant to say, your photos are beautiful too. Love the header shot. It has a real Americana feel to it!

TALON said...

Thank you so much, everyone!