What Can You Love in a Lifetime? by Bronwen Griffiths

Husbands, wives, mothers, brothers, lovers. These, of course. Yet what of the tiny black cat mangled by a speeding car on Church Hill in 1963; you cried for three days after your mother told you the news. What of the three rats your son bought and you later looked after, who died one by one though you cared for them like you cared for nothing else? What of the ash tree outside your window, tall as the sky, felled one day while you were out learning at school? How you wept for that tree; how you sometimes still weep for it these passing years.

What of the silver and turquoise bracelet your mother bought on a trip to America in ’66, the one she gave you when you reached fifty and the great sadness you felt when you lost it walking along a muddy path the year before she died. What of the blush pink climbing rose you left behind when you moved house and the smooth veined stones you collected from that cove in South Wales, also lost?

What of your father’s laugh you still hear deep in the night, the twist in the stairs in the house where you were born, the zig-zag dress you wore for your first proper kiss, the running of your dog through heather, and the feel of sand between your toes?

What of the young man who held your gaze on the train between Durham and Doncaster, and the friend from university days you still dream of, over and over?

You will love these things and more. There will always be things to love.

Biography: Bronwen Griffiths is the author of two novels and two collections of flash fiction. Her flash fiction has been published online and in a number of print anthologies both in the UK and USA. She lives in East Sussex. @bronwengwriter bronwengriff.co.uk

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