BLUE ARRANGEMENTS                              about                     features               Lazy Susan            shop           


Saoirse Bertram

In the secret garden, by the fountain, they sat opposite, their legs crossed over one another, he yawned, his eyes were very dark, (he had not been sleeping), it was a very pleasant day. 

The blend was very good, it had just finished steeping, Marya Morevna, it was called, M. M. blue, already their favourite. Now thrice this week they had sipped together; and she poured his cup: the scent was delightful; early evening, it was, although the sun had not yet set.

She smiled..

Do you recall, she said, Do you recall when we walked down the stone steps, by the riverside, there, Do you recall the young man, that long-haired young man, how remarkably sad he looked. How dreadfully sad.

He rubbed his eyes, feeling more awake, now, as she spoke to him. The sky above was perfect, a lavender-grey. Yes, of course, how could I forget. He frowned then, a little, asidedly, noted his trousers, terribly frayed, but no matter..

Somewhere unseen a harp played, as upon white bread she dined on fine-cut cucumber, on chickpea and walnut; on rye, he had salmon, fresh salmon; with salmon, he had crème fraîche, horseradish and chives.

They sipped their tea..

Yes, how he wailed to himself, that young man, he remembered. She nodded, and waited to speak, between her teeth, cherry curd and bitter maple, black peppercorn, another rye; swallowed down, in recollection: How terribly he’d wept! How he thrashed to the earth, How he drew his brow back and forth over the stone steps!

Now she adjusted her hair, blinking in wonder, a slight breeze had entered through the gaps in the gate of the garden wall. He nodded, sipped his tea, another bite, egg pickled in balsamic, soft chèvre, an excellent marmalade, a wonderful sourdough. She sipped her tea, tucked her hair back into place, back as it lay before, shook her head but slightly. How dreadfully sad, she said,

To think I have perhaps never seen a young man so distraught. And wide-eyed: Do you recall how he kicked against the railing.

Yes, he replied, I still recall how he hurled his fists against his knees,

And how his knees cracked, she said,

Resounded! he said, with a slight curl to the corners of his mouth. The pot of tea was drained, and they allowed the plucked notes of music to fill the space between them; he studied his empty cup, and the softness of the garden floor. She would say something more, now, wouldn’t she..

He reached down for a blackcurrant tart, drawing it to his lips, but no, not entirely to his liking; not now, not for this moment, perhaps;

Would you, he said, rather, taking her hands in his own, taking her hands to steady them both; beckoning an untouched scone.

Oh! Please, she said, raspberry, raspberry-rhubarb?

Yes. How delicious.

And would you, she said. Please.

Just a bite, he said, thank you.

And it was delicious, he found, and it was a very pleasant day, not yet nearing its end, the sky not yet dark, the moon still absent. Over the fountain dragonflies still hummed, and above, a flock of barn-swallows over the clouds, crossing lavender-grey. They took champagne, then, The Happy Prince, it was called, sixty-one; a wonderful vintage, they knew, then another pot of tea, Marya Morevna, their favourite.

They smiled..

I just can’t help but think back upon the riverside, she said at last, eyes shining, how lovely, How absolutely lovely!

Yes, he said, (admiring all there was to look upon), And we must walk there again, together; don’t you agree?

Yes, she replied; We must.. and their stares met in the lovely low light where they sat opposite, laughing a little, at almost-nothing, but laughing still, laughing pleasantly..

Saoirse Bertram is an Irish-American writer, actor, and social figure. He was born in Fairbanks, Alaska. His prose and poetry has been published both domestically and abroad.

ig: @american_empath
x: @b57edc