Home Flash Fiction Flash Fiction—On a Trellised Arbor, by Mandira Pattnaik

Flash Fiction—On a Trellised Arbor, by Mandira Pattnaik

Calendar for 1901 with women and flowers (1900) print in high resolution by Gerrit Willem Dijsselhof. Original from the Rijksmuseum. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

On a Trellised Arbor, by Mandira Pattnaik

When my daughter is thinking Spring upon the breakfast table, I’m considering the Fall, throwing a buttered slice to the dog, unmindful of the mess. 

Tomorrow it’ll be Summer. There’ll be pretty roses clinging to her vines, devoted admirers waiting to pluck them off her lips, rhythm and euphoria blended in the air, many seasons to cherish. 

Today, she’s holding onto my trellised limbs. I braid her viridescent tassels, take her to school, together wreathing music from the valley’s noises on the way. 

After dinner, I tuck her in bed. Before I switch the lights off, I want to reach out, so I may guide her growing shoots up my bamboo grids.

Later, alone in the dark kitchen, I breathe the hollow running until the soil; listen to the melancholic bansuri in my shaft.

Mandira Pattnaik is an Indian author. Her work has appeared in Lamplight, Atlas & Alice, Citron Review, Watershed Review(Mac)ro(mic)Passages North, Amsterdam Quarterly, Bangor Literary, and Timber Journal among other places. Find more at mandirapattnaik.wordpress.com. On Twitter @MandiraPattnaik