Microfiction: ”Broken”


“Happy Mother’s Day!” the clerk chirped, all brightness and light.

The smile the lady returned was genuine.  If that smile was a bit slow, it still was sincere and heartfelt.  “Thank you.  My son…Mother’s Day is always special.”

The woman gathered the flowers into her arms and headed out.  More smiles and greetings in the parking lot.  Those were exchanged with strangers for the most part, but there were moments with those she knew, too.  Those moments mattered, she thought.  Those moments, with those she knew, they offered depth and color to the day.

Green was finally taking hold again as she crunched through the last vestiges of winter.  The flowers were starting to grow on the verges of the rapidly greening grass…could summer be far behind?  With summer life would return.  With summer would come warmth and visitors and new life.

New life.

She hadn’t cried, not for a month.  She’d sworn she wouldn’t cry that day, either.  Not for Mother’s Day.  He loved Mother’d Day.  He always did something special, even when he didn’t have the time or the money.  She wouldn’t ruin that; she wouldn’t cry.

She just wouldn’t.

The lines were still sharp and clear when she approached.  Wind and rain had not had time to wear them away, but…

Nor had they had worn away the paint, either.

The flowers were laid gently, her few tears breaking that earlier vow.  A choking gulp, convulsing her entire body, as she forced the words into being, “It’s been a great Mother’s Day. Thank you for the flowers.”

She rose and turned to leave. The brown of the leaves marred the black of her dress. A step and she had to turn for a last glance.  The fresh lines and clean whiteness of her son’s headstone were marred by the hateful black paint she’d tried so hard to ignore: God hates fags.

Some of those in the parking lot that morning had been among those who had painted those words.

“I love you, son,” she whispered, heartbroken.

{Musical Note — I have written 5-6 pieces trying to touch on some of the emotion and reality of the piece above, but I’ve held them all back. It’s complicated. “It’s complicated” — what a shitty, stupid excuse. But it’s an excuse I’m stuck with. Anything else I have to say is going to cause problems, so I will let the piece above, and the song below, stand for themselves.}

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