Catherine is a 22 year old student studying counseling and human services. She likes loud music and bad horror movies. Her essays and poetry have been published in a number of magazines including the Writing Disorder, Big Window Review and Vita Brevis.
The Hospice Garden
“I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to leave” the nurse spoke with clarity, her voice quiet and civil. Like one might expect in a hospice garden. Not the yelling or screaming or (god forbid) chair throwing we had been up to. I was frozen as was my cousin Arthur, overseeing our younger brothers. My brother was, of course, the provocateur. Sean was the hot head. The four of us were alone. Our parents were visiting Grandma and I should be with her but I wouldn’t realize how urgent this was until I was tossing a rose onto a casket. I apologized to the nurse, making sure my voice did not tremble. The four of us marched abashedly into the hospital where the nurses station shot us furtive looks like oh those are the chair throwing delinquents. Or maybe more like oh those are the poor kids whose Grandma is dying. Her hospital room was crowded but I got a seat next to her and read her the enumerable greeting cards she had acquired. At times I saw tears in her eyes. Her hand had never felt so weak. After Grandma got sleepy, I returned to the garden alone. The chair Sean threw was still overturned. Tempers had flared, death was an angry process. I didn’t blame him for acting out. I wanted to throw a few chairs myself. The garden was glass. The stars illuminated the upside down chair. I made a kind of wish, some could call it a prayer.