Written with my Thursday night group with the prompts: bulgaricus, in an orange room, why is she crying, the farm, he palmed his meds, there is no one there, hey baby, they were new, Kansas, healing, big medicine, Hank 25 years ago, they were young, is it all a sham, poppies like flames dancing, sat, peaceful as bath water, Larry (but I changed it to Lorna)
In an orange room on a blue planet, Lorna sat up in bed, startled awake. It was just past midnight; she’d been asleep less than an hour, now feeling frantic and disturbed because she had forgotten to take her new medicine. It was an orange powder, stirred into blue water, and she couldn’t remember where she’d left it.
The room was filled with California poppies, dancing like flames on the hand-knotted rug. Jupiter seeped through a crack in the dark curtains, and light dripped onto her pillow.
Twenty-five years ago Hank wrote her a poem: two hearts reaching out, he said, two hearts asking for medicine.
They were young but they had both known trauma. They were new together. They were hopeful. She didn’t know then that these words would be the only thing she would carry. Two hearts. . .
When he was gone, when their child was gone, when the Kansas farm was gone, she would still have these words. Asking for medicine. . .
She was fully awake now. There was no medicine, no miracle drug or herb, no bulgaricus acidophilus, brewer’s yeast, or bone broth, nothing that could heal the wounds she wouldn’t acknowledge. Was it all a sham? A mis-remembered fantasy?
“Hey, baby,” she heard him whisper. “Why are you crying?”
She woke again. There was no one there, and it was nearly time to get up. He used to palm his meds, wander away for days, leave her worrying and wondering.
Life was better now, peaceful as bath water. She could slide under, surrender to the warmth. She could float away. But she wouldn’t do that. She liked it here in California– poppies, oranges, hope as big as the Pacific.
Photo by Heather Gill on Unsplash