She waits for the first of spring’s green buds to appear on the barren, spindly branches. All day she sits by the window, hoping to witness this miracle- tenderness pushing through rough, unyielding bark. She waits unmoving and unmindful. Time, family, and life hover at the edges as she waits. She sits awake through out the night, torch in hand, training the steadily weakening yellow beam on the emaciated macabre limbs. As the early morning skies bathe in the bruised morning light dark circles rim her eyes. Her hair is dull and her skin sallow. Force is used where coaxing and cajolery have failed. She lashes out silently, arms flailing and nails unleashing blood. Finally. A sign of sentience to accompany the ragged rise and fall of her ribcage.
A week goes by. She does not notice the thin tube that feeds her through the veins. The cleansing sponge and laden pan. The buds are yet to appear. A secret corner of her does not want them to. For the longer they take the longer she can believe. The longer she can hold on to the notion that nature is sympathetic to her loss. That it too is barren and dry.
It is the ruddy nurse with the rough touch and unfeeling touch who finds her. Head leaning against the window, eyes wide open, staring at the tiny green pennants that flutter in the early spring breeze.