Nancy / by Charlotte Marriner

She is small, like a bird.

Baby soft hair sits on her head like a puff of fair-weather cloud; coaxed and teased like a creamy meringue.

Crinkly skin from smiling, her eyes are bright and wet.

Small pools you could skim stones on that hop and skip for days.

Her hands are worn from touching.

Smooth as a warm pebble on the beach.

A veil of attempted disapproval sits inside her dimple, tiptoeing out when others misbehave.

Eyebrows raised, Mummy-mouth pursed, eyes giggling.

My body fits hers, like a small piece of a puzzle.

Pleasantly snug.

Like finding the key to something you forgot from before you remember.

She wraps me up.

She smells of lavender and talcum powder. And a foreign flower that I can’t pronounce.

Glass-buttoned cardigan cuddle.

She sails through the house, quiet movements that bellow, scattering little pieces of herself into every corner.

Paper-thin confetti.

A silhouette of silver screen beauty looks out from fading photo frames and still sits, unassuming, in the crook of her elbow. The soft, warm folds of her skin.

She is a bouquet of heavy-headed flowers.

Sweet, perfume velvet.

She is my Grandy.