Hiberta St.

The wide steel mouth gnaws away at the slush and snow. It can become so careless, this chore, this taking care of – then the shovel snaps the edge of the frozen lawn. Yellow, icy shards of grass are torn away into crisp balls of dirt that tumble out onto the now exposed concrete. My father would be so disappointed, if he could see me now. I seem to have forgotten my yard is below this foot of snow, a yard for weeks now suffocated by this Montana cold. It rests there, taking on the water slowly, coldly. I put more and more snow on top of it, feeling strange about how we expose the unfeeling concrete but choke the grass with this weather.

How often I forget about the things growing around me – a few months earlier, I went out the back, past the garage, and headed for the street, but I’d forgotten something and turned around. My neighbor jolted a bit – she had a handful of a green weed, snarls of it twisting through her fingers, perhaps fighting her, the roots trembling. She stepped out of the rocks that line my driveway. “I’m sorry,” she said, “I sometimes can’t help myself.” I smiled, waved my hand and shook my head no, as in no, no, it’s fine. I walked over the rocks, my eyes then picking up on all the little green spikes, these weeds butting their way out of the earth. I hadn’t seen them, hadn’t minded them. Was I supposed to? My neighbor scuttles back to her house, over rocks unbothered and free of any growth. She can help me out anytime she wants.

Kylie Westerlind resides in Reno, Nevada where she works as a barista and an administrative assistant for a local office. Her fiction has appeared in Carve Magazine and the Citron Review. 

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