May Day


May Day


 We had our own day, ours alone.

 When I was small, a childish game. A paper basket, pasted together, filled with pansies (my neighbor’s), left on the doorstep.  I rang the bell and ran, peeking through the fence at my mother’s delight.  “From a secret friend,” she read aloud.  “Who could it be?”

 Forever, on May Day, I sent her flowers, without fail, from New York, Paris, Orlando, wherever work took me.  Always, from a secret friend.  Then one year, she found me.  May Day. A basket full of pansies.  From California.  Full circle, our love, went on and on.

Hollow, earthbound, I watch the careless mushrooming clouds floating freely above. All week, tears have eluded me.  Eat. Work. Sleep. Repeat.  A perfectly functioning shell of me.  The doorbell chimes.  A box, a spray of white orchids, with a note in her shaky handwriting, “Happy May Day.  Love, a secret friend.”   Sent the day before she died.


Barbara Boyle


 Barbara Boyle, after a long and colorful career creating advertising around the world, now resides in a 300-year-old stone farmhouse in Northern Italy.  She’s surrounded by orchards, vineyards and barking deer.  Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Star Island Journal and Star 82 Review.

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