On the second to last day of this year, I stand at the clothesline and pin damp sheets and pillowcases still smelling of lavender. They snap and twist in the cold wind. I’m surrounded by all the dried and dead of the garden.
Inside, I watch the bone broth simmer through the glass lid. The bubbles wiggle the chicken feet floating on the surface of the golden liquid.
And I’m sick and worn down to just the warp in spots. My eyes burn and my ears are blocked and ringing still with the leaving, that final gift that pricks and throbs like so many tiny shards of glass embedded just under the skin.
I drape the dried sheet over the mattress and make crisp hospital corners at the foot of the bed, and the smell of petrichor rises from the linens, warding against evil in the new year to come.