“Sweetheart” – Emma Gardner ’23

She toddles down the sidewalk, little pig tails bobbing with their pink bows. Sticky hand in a firm, weathered one. Her grandmother, walking strong and steady despite her browning, wrinkled skin. 

She skips down the sidewalk, thin ponytail bouncing up and down. Grandma tries to keep up, a little unsteady, knees wobbling. Childish excitement “Come on Grandma!” “I’m coming, sweetheart!”

She runs down the sidewalk, hair long and curly, tucked behind her ears. Grandma with her walker, she toddles now. Girl rushes ahead, excited to see her friends. She smiles back at grandma.

She walks down the sidewalk, pin straight hair. Face in her phone, ignoring grandma. In a wheelchair, rolling slowly. “Wait up, sweetheart!” “Ok”

Hospital bed, firm hand in a frail hand. Sad, tears, beeps decay, then stop. “I wish I could talk to you, Grandma.” Me too, me too, sweetheart.