The wood was soft under my feet, spongy like ripe avocados. We leaned against each other on the deck and watched the sun dip behind budding birches.
The branches of the aspens she planted looked thin, stripped by hungry moose.
“Why don’t you put up fences?”
She read my mind and looked to the sickly clump. “Mom was gonna help.” She leaned away, the heat from her weight lost in the crisp air.
I tried to coax her back. “Deer would jump it anyway. And now you won’t have to prune.”
No use, the cold slipped into my coat, crawling across my skin. She hid her face behind her hands. “They won’t make the winter.”
A pattern of wet polka dots appeared on the splintered railing. I looked away, unsure if they fell from her eyes or mine.
My older sister gave me my prompts today: “polka dots,” and “avocado.” I also spent time at my younger sister’s house in the country, which provided the inspiration for scenery (and also a conversation about moose eating her trees). There’s something about the quiet of the country. It’s both beautiful and melancholic. I was feeling a little heavy, and loss is one of the heaviest things to write about, I think, so here we are.