The wooden swing underneath me,
It creaks as it slowly rocks to and fro to the tempo of the blowing wind,
My feet refuse to touch the grass,
For they want to disturb neither the surreal silence that courses through me,
Nor the perfection of the dewy grass under my being.
Another gust of air caresses my hair,
It lingers before it escapes and leaves me almost in despair.
The weather yearns to reach true summer,
But it never quite does.
A rusty bike leans on the late wooden fence,
A single white undergarment lies draped over a bright blue string,
A filthy watering can positions itself,
Next to a meager patch of small purple flowers.
These small flowers are so trifling,
They’re so insignificant.
When I enter the house,
I know I’ll take in the sweet aroma of berries,
Heaps upon heaps.
Up my nose, the scent will creep.
Oh the smell of the freshest most delectable summer fruits.
The kind that make sure they leave their mark,
No matter how careful you are.
The kind that leave juices dripping down your wrists.
The kind that make my tongue a canvas splattered with red dyes.
I’ll look into my Mummi’s bright blue eyes,
I’ll stare at the lines on her face.
There will be something so young about her,
But underneath the creases, stretch marks, and wrinkles,
I won’t be able to tell what it is.
I’ll imagine her meeting my grandfather,
Way back when he was a handsome young man,
At least from the photographs.
Her blue eyes would admire him.
They’d watch him light a cigarette,
Turn the page of a fresh novel.
She knew she was in love.
At the time she didn’t know,
One day she’d bear his seven children.
Her spouse and her firstborn son would have left before she had the chance to.
She’d live in this house alone,
It’d be the only thing she’d known,
A time capsule stuck in the nineteen seventies,
It’d be littered with old cassettes,
She’d sit on her rocking chair,
Until her mistakes could no longer be repaired.
Letting the days languidly slip away.
She’d listen to the chair’s unchanging creaks,
And the murky sounds escaping the radio,
The one with the fork planted into one of its antennas.
She’d watch those old sepia photos
Begin to add only the reddest reds and bluest blues,
Until finally she’d witness wedding pictures,
In the most vibrant colors.
The television would add channels,
Whilst the old library truck would forget her address.
It didn’t matter,
She’d read every book anyway.
Life would have left without her.
She’d have neither traveled much nor loved enough.
She’d watch her oldest daughter leave,
Trying to grasp and hold onto those cravings her mother never could achieve.
“Mummi’s little girl will fly high as the sky and run quick as the August wind.”
But I know that when I enter that same, humble home,
And smell those same aromas I know,
She’ll say oh so simply,
“Emmi, muru, would you like some more strawberries?”
Inspired by my Summers spent in rural Finland.