“Extremely beautiful, and, typically, delicate.” 

My grandmother’s porcelain vase sits in its glass case, spiraling and intertwining blue and green vines tumbling over each other and entwining themselves in such intricate ways, though their dance goes unnoticed. They sit behind a thick glass case with other memorabilia day after day collecting dust in my grandmother’s house, never to be touched, seen, or felt. 

This is exquisite. 

When I go home, I make dinner on the stove and then, as the water boils, rest my head on my hands and stare at the roses on the windowsill, a gift from my sister. They sit, so frail in the evening light, their black outline barely noticeable against the backdrop of the setting sun. A petal falls and I sigh. It will soon depart, starved for life, and though carefully tended to, will not survive, because of its delicacy. 

This is exquisite. 

My friend drops my daughter off at the house, just as dinner is finishing up. I fuss over her until she gets into her seat, and then serve her linguini pasta, her favorite. I watch her out of the corner of my eye from the opposite end of the table expectantly waiting for her to take a bite. Instead, she hugs her knees to her chest, and begins to cry. I rush over to her side, and begin to hold her and rock her back and forth, careful of her breathing tubes. But this time it doesn’t work. Her face turns purple and she begins to cough, then retch, and I am patting her back, my fists making hollow thuds on her back where the breath refuses to escape. Then her lifeless head falls onto my lap, bald and small—too small.

She is exquisite. 

All beautiful, all delicate, all dead. 


Photo Credit: Flickr

Written by

Zoe Zarubin

Zoe Zarubin, senior, has always had a deep love for storytelling. When she was younger, she would tell them verbally to anyone who would listen, but now, creative writing is her new outlet for her thoughts and ideas and it brings her great joy. Other things that bring her joy include her family, her friends, her church group, reading, climbing, and visiting Donner Lake every summer. She has a passion for both telling stories and hearing/reading them and is looking forward to her third year in the academy as the Assignment Editor!