fiction by Nadia K. Brown
It wasn’t so much the bridge that troubled him, but the flowering Weigela that grew alongside it. It was June, and the air was thick with the Weigela’s citrus scent. Overloaded with clusters of white and crimson, its branches dipped toward the swollen river. Delicate petals spilled across the wrought-iron rail. They tumbled, unconcerned, into the water below.
Wistfully, he watched from his spot on the bench, firmly wedged within the torpor of regret. Every Spring, as he returned for his vigil, he witnessed the bridge transform. Its wooden boards disappeared behind swaths of green, and blossoms—pale at first—filled the lattice rail before igniting in the sun. Passersby strolled across the bridge; indifferent to the grief that doused the air, their movements light and laden with ease. He sat, silently dissolving in the echoes of their steps.
When he arrived in May, the Weigela was bleak and hidden in its winter carcass. And now, reluctantly, he watched it triumph again. Such relentless beauty in the spot where he died.
NADIA K. BROWN lives with her three children and a multitude of pets. She is a physician and a writer who seeks inspiration in the mundane angles of everyday life. Previous work has appeared in the Yellow Chair Review, and more is forthcoming in Mulberry Fork Review, Lost Documents, Corner Club Press, and Into the Void.