A.J. Walker


February 2022

Blueberry Penance

Blueberry Penance was again in awe at her mother’s energy and incomprehinsible enthusiasm. Spring was in the process of building a gigantic domino run up the stairs and through the halls and vacuous rooms of the old brownstone. She was thirty five years old, but Spring Penance was like a young child fortified by a diet of Sunny D and Red Bull. Days like this were not uncommon and this particular Sunday she’d woken up like a mother possessed. Blueberry had long given up thinking that it was her own job as the child to be doing these things. She loved her mum, but she sometimes craved a little normality like her friends had. She was not completely sure of the meaning of her surname; she had heard her Aunt Summer say once at a family party that the family lived forever under the cloud of their surname and that they were living something she called “nominative determinism”. Blue was too young to know what this meant, but she thought her aunt was – at least for an adult – commonly understanding of things. So maybe she was right.

As her mom placed the final domino in readiness to send them off on their laborious way up and down and around their home Blue thought about something she’d heard before from her aunt and a school teacher – “
Rome wasn’t built in a day” – looking at her indefatigable mom she was sure that Rome could have been built in a day, indeed and with time (and maybe some dominoes) to spare.