Daphne Hicks-Blankenship


Wordsworth reflected on the beauty of nature, as he spent time upon the banks of the Wye, finding light to illuminate his soul in his darkest hours. I reflect upon a room in my grandmother’s house  on a Saturday in spring with the curtains dancing in the breeze. The sunlight beckons me to awaken, to hear the robin’s song.

There is the hum of lawnmowers, of single engine planes flying over the green suburbia of my childhood. And always the hum of my grandmother. Always in the kitchen. Always the smell of coffee as it drip, drip, dripped into the carafe. I would lie in her bed, thin, pale legs tangled in a nightgown. I would listen to the sounds of my grandmother’s house and the world, small and safe, outside her window. As if I knew even then that the world had teeth, that one day this memory would replace a woman whom I can barely stand to refer to in the past tense. Recording every mote of dust caught in a sunbeam, the squeak of the dressing table drawer where my grandmother kept her handbags and driving gloves. The smell of wood polish and leather.

The dead are like a fever dream, real and unreal. They are vividly remembered but impossible to speak of; what we know to be true in our heads and hearts can never be shared. The words turn to dust and blow away before they reach another’s ear.

I fortify my heart with small details.

Daphne is a junior at OSU Newark majoring in English. She has been writing since she was in the fourth grade when her teacher, Mrs. Ritter, introduced her to Shel Silverstein and Judy Blume. She often finds herself writing about her grandmother. Some of her simplest but most vivid memories are of her grandmother and writing them down keeps her memory close.