In this old Inverness house
with beveled windows that prism time,
I am again at my grandmother’s for the summer.
As always, she is not here.
But her apron,
damp from the wash of morning dishes,
hangs near the stove,
and her freshly-cut flowers
swirl in a bowl of etched glass on the table.
Still with dew, their delicate fragrance
opens into petals of comfort
that close to embrace me.
Liquid, her voice shimmers
on the lake of afternoon light
that ribbons itself into lace.
It embroiders her name on my sleeve:
A name I hear when I look at the baskets
of fruit on the porch.
Unpreserved, they will change
when this summer no longer sleeps on the steps
like a lazy cat.
But for now, they are ripe with promise.
*Previously published by Voice of Eve in May 2019
Karen Pierce Gonzalez’s fiction and non-fiction have appeared in several publications including San Francisco Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Lagom, Visual Verse, Zahir: Unforgettable Tales, Postcard Poems and Prose, and Thimble Literary Magazine. A former journalist and Pushcart Prize nominee, she is also a mixed-media artist who works with tree bark, fibers, and, when she’s lucky, salmon leather.