by Lynn Oseguera
I walked in my grandfather’s garden while my sisters took their turns saying goodbye. The peony bushes, now barren, were my grandmother’s favorite and, for her, he had always tended them. She had long forgotten who we were, but just that morning had told my sisters and I how much she missed peonies in the springtime. I walked past her still staring at the empty bushes through the window when I came inside to take my turn.
The rented hospital bed was made up as comfortably as it could be. In it, my grandfather looked wilted and fragile. Barren. My mother, holding his veiny hand, looked up at me in tears. She shook her head and I knew I had missed my turn.
We told my grandmother for the first time. A few moments later, the information gone, she asked if we were crying because there were no peonies blooming.
Lynn Oseguera is a rising junior at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing. She enjoys comedy, science fiction, and all forms of art. After graduating, she aspires to work in entertainment, specifically screenwriting. “Barren” is dedicated to her supportive late grandfather.