I was working right beside her. You think I would’ve noticed. You think I would’ve heard the snip, snip, snip and would’veĀ  checked. But I didn’t until it was too late. Way too late. I gasped at the remnants of my beautiful vine, “Mom! What have you done?!”

“Well, it was dead on top,” she began.

“Then don’t you think you should have started there?” I felt sick. It had taken five years for that vine to grow and against all odds it beat this year’s frost. I had been looking at it for a week, thinking how I would carefully prune and plant around it. Now it looked half dead with all the lush green parts in a pile by my 86 year old mother turned Lizzy Borden. Brown twigs jutted out from the bottom half like the innards of a gutted fish.

“I’m tired.” She handed me her weapon, a pair of pruning shears. “You finish,” she ordered, walking away.

For a moment I just stared. The family reunion is in 6 weeks, (5, but I’m hoping denial will work like pixy dust) and the vine isn’t going to be happy in time. Half hacked, there was only one thing left to do – obey my mom – tendril hit man. So I dove in. I clipped… I sawed… I conquered. And I ended up looking like someone played tick-tack-toe on my arms, hands and face with a razor.

The window behind me slid open. “What did you do?” my husband cried out.

“It wasn’t me!” The pruning shears dropped to the ground, “Mom started it.”

He gave me a sideways look of disgust. “Honey, if you want to be an author, you’ve got to come up with a better story. I remember the kid’s haircuts when they were little.” He looked at the vine and shook his head. “It’s never gonna look good for the reunion.”

Filed under: Narcissus

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