Nula had been disappearing into the night regularly since the miscarriage. He reassured her that everything was going to be fine, but the sleepwalking hadn’t stopped. He was going to find out where she went.

Euan gave her a head start, pretending he was asleep, and he just remembered to grab her thick coat and boots on his way out the door, following her footprints in the snow until they arrived at a copse, where the full moon broke through clouds.

When he draped the coat around her shoulders, his wife awoke with a start. ‘I went out to the hazel wood, because a fire was in my head,’ she said. ‘The wise woman told me that a good show of hazel catkins foretold a year with lots of babies’.

They returned to the house hand in hand, carrying branches of bright yellow catkins.

Kim M. Russell, 15th February 2021

Blossom Kitten, Yellow, Hazelnut, Common Hazelnut

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Poetics: Prosery: The Song of Wandering Aengus

I’m hosting Prosery at the dVerse Poets Pub today, where we are writing very short pieces of prose that tell stories, with a beginning, a middle and an end, in any genre, with a limit of 144 words, with an additional challenge to hit 144 exactly. The line from a poem, which must be included somewhere in our stories has been taken from ‘The Song of Wandering Aengus’ by William Butler Yeats.

Free image found on Pixabay.

46 thoughts on “Catkins

  1. This is incredibly heart-stirring, Kim! 💝💝 I am especially moved by the image; “They returned to the house hand in hand, carrying branches of bright yellow catkins.” It reminds us that there is hope despite adversity, despite woe. No doubt, one of the most difficult things to endure for a couple is miscarriage.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a beautiful story that, I’m certain, resonates with many women. A miscarriage is so very difficult….and when wanting children, the difficulty of seeing others with their babies…trying month after month….I remember lighting candles in church. So yes…..the gathering of catkins in this tradition is entirely understandable. Wonderful story made alive by the dear characters your write about here.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like the idea that she was walking out to the catkins in her dreams each night but had no idea she was really walking there until her husband woke her up. I hope there are many children on their horizon.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been avoiding poems/stories that mention miscarriage for the past few months, being pregnant makes it a difficult topic to try and interact with, and I’m far more prone to tears at the moment than I normally am. I love the quiet support from her other half in this. It’s a delicate and sad topic, but there’s a strength and kindness to that support.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Merril. I hope, at some point in the future, to develop some of my flash fiction into longer stories and possibly another novel, but I have one to finish and my husband’s memoir to edit, so it won’t be for a long time.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I like the way your story starts out leaving us to wonder what is to come, but leaving us on a note of love and desire for what is to come! Well done. Loved the music video. He is and excellent guitarist and vocalist!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A very well written tale. Miscarriage, like abortion, is soaked in dark and bitter emotions. Your story is sculpted well to fit into its preset parameters, and is capped with hope, which is a welcome ending.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Rob. I grew up with catkins, which we used to bring to our teacher every spring for the nature table – although they were hard to find in South London. Luckily we had a common nearby.


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