Fiona Murphy McCormack


I stood in the garden for the first time in a long time, longer than I could remember. Sunlight dappled the two oak trees summer heavy with their leaves. The sod along the riverbank, water trickling by, a tributary to beyond. I stood upon a tangled patch. The garden had been neater in my childhood. The lawn meticulously cut. The multiplying weeds plucked. The branches sawn down when they were ready to snap into the water below. Now it is wilder and agrestic. The fence wobbling the boundaries. The trees rotting in their sodden foundation. The tall grass grazing my knees.

But when I stand in the garden, I am reminded of the drawings they would magnet place on the refrigerator door. Scribbly crayon waxed images of the garden as I saw it then, a world where the sky met the grass in a constant, solid blue against green. When had I learnt to see the atmosphere more complexly? Not merely solid primary colours but with a white space of nuance that is the universe? What else had I then subconsciously seen differently? How altered had I become since the child who first ran along this patch of soil?

I could no more remember that than the day I had been lifted in my parents’ arms for the last time. The last bedtime story. The last night they tucked me in. So momentary and ordinary it held no memory, though I knew it to have happened. The way the garden had fluctuated into a different habitat from the one I left.

Among the patch of wet grass, I lifted an unblossoming dandelion. Brought it to my lips, closing my eyes, breathing a wish into the air as the grey flecks of seeds were carried by the wind.


Fiona Murphy McCormack is a writer from Northern Ireland. She has been published in Electric Reads, Germ Magazine, Fearlessly Magazine, Elephant Ladder, Crossways Literary Review, Santa Fe Quarterly, Every Day Fiction, Litro NY, Route 7 Review, Persephone’s Daughters, Crossing the Tees 2019, East Jasmine Review, The Anti-Languorous Project Podcast, Viva Voice Anthology, Once Alien Here Anthology, Typishly, Eastern Iowa Review,  The Write Launch and A New Ulster.



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