life lines by C Duncanson

Cassie Duncanson is a student in Western Massachusetts studying English and Art History. She bakes like a 50’s housewife, and has a film camera I don’t use often enough because film is expensive. She works on an island off the coast of New Hampshire during the summers. Read more of Cassie’s work featured on IP.

Life Lines

Last night, I made pancakes that looked like tree slices.

Golden brown in color, with circles like ripples on the water’s surface. Circles like tree rings, I can count their years – count their age.

In the wintertime we cut down our Christmas tree. When we trim the bottom off back at the house, I take it into my room with a pencil and I mark each line.

One year. Two. Three years. Four. Our last tree was seventeen years old.

I remember sitting on your porch in the cool summer air. Swinging back and forth on the porch swing. I look for fireflies out in the yard, but I never see any. You live in the city, you say, too much crap in the air for pretty bugs to fly around in. Nothing could make this city pretty.

I want to run through that golden-wheat field out where my aunt lived. Lay down in the grass and take pictures of what the sky looks like framed by tall wheat. Watch the bugs jump around, and the barn cat stalk the field at dusk for mice.

I run in circles around the trees at the edge of the field, round once, round twice. Seventeen times. I run on my toes, soft as I can, avoiding sticks and roots. Fly across the ground and scurry up trees.

I hear a Spanish lullaby and fall asleep to the croons of crows – the whine of insects.
I wake up to the smell of syrup dripping down the tree, sticking to my hands and feet, catching dirt on the soles of my shoes. Keeping me grounded to the solid earth beneath me.

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