i leave a small stone at my grandparent/s grave each time i visit, the broad granite headstone pulled from my grandmother/s garden and comfortable to sit on the grass around the grave isnt green, the burnt amber blades long and end in torn mint, my grandmother/s fingerprints notched along the frayed edges once i had trouble finding a stone, digging into the dirt paths of the cemetery for hours with no luck, occasionally looking up at the ring of forested hills around me to think about stones still in gardens next to the cemetery is a field, the grass green and maintained daily by its owner i only met him after chasing down his enormous industrial riding mower, he was wearing headphones and barely noticed my waving arms as he turned, almost running me over i caught my breath and told him about the scarcity of stones in the cemetery, he was very understanding, saying i could look in his field anytime i wanted, as long as i took off my shoes stones are easier to find in neat green grass, he said starting up the motor and i shouted in agreement, even though it was obvious he painted his grass and was very self conscious about it my shoes had turned up patches of unsightly amber and the smell of torn mint on an afternoon in my grandmother/s garden, so he lowered the blades, going back over the field until it was a uniform height and color i make it a point to look in his field wearing my hiking boots. i do suicide drills and jumping jacks. he comes right out, but the ignition isnt what it used to be, taking a while before turning over he/s really darkened the color of his grass because of me and grumbles under the sound of the motor with each pass, but always waits until i/m sitting on a comfortable garden stone to cut my grandmother/s fingerprints up and over the hills
Brendan Connolly’s work has been featured by Genre: Urban Arts, OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters, Breathe Free Press and elsewhere. He lives and writes in Salem, Ma.