It was a day of racing hearts and waiting by the phone.
A man pulled up in a yellow jeep.
I hid in my room and pressed my ear to the cold floor
muffled voices rose up from beneath me
he was looking for the flaws in our home
I imagined the house collapsing around him
I would through my head back and laugh at the irony.
We sipped coffee and shifted uncomfortably in our chairs.
When would this end?
would they still want the house when the flaws had been photographed and lain out on a bundle of stapled papers?
What if they didn’t?
then what would we do?
the questions loomed in our minds
Mum prayed and asked for positive thoughts
we all waited
the sun set and the moon rose up in the sky
still the questions loomed
Two days before, I photographed a rainbow in the sky.
“the storm is over” I sang in my head
I repeated it today over and over trying to make it true. And the weather agrees, no more wind, no more rain.
the storm IS over
however clouds still loom like the questions in our minds
so we just wait
in this roomy house
look out the windows and watch for the clouds to clear
the sun will shine through
just holding on here.
praying for a sunny tomorrow.
(necklace handcrafted by me, view more of my jewelry at owlmeetsfairy.etsy.com)
A can opener punctures the tin can, a thick fishy smell escapes and floats around the main floor. It swarms puppy, deep in slumber on a corduroy armchair.
Stretch and leap down. Nails on hardwood make a click, click, click, tail wags and she scampers beneath the dining room table.
Mom is above, picking small white pieces from fleshy pink salmon. Puppy licks her snout, wetting black whiskers, mum pulls a bone from the fish and places it in a small pile.
Bones: small, smooth and white.
Like the bones that frame the hollow girl, struggling for life in a steam filled room. Wrapped in a fuzzy pink towel and lying on the floor.
Her hair wet and pasted to her forehead, Eyelids blue, all she sees is black.
The bones are ugly, she feels them jut out in every direction. Each vertebrae a protruding lump.
The girls reaches for the door, but she can’t get up.
The brass handle moves higher and higher, stretching away from her grasp.
Sniffing wildly, puppy follows her moist black nose up to the tabletop and rests front legs up on a nearby chair.
The girl rises to her knees, tries to grimace from the pain but her face can not muster up the strength. Hollow eyes focused on the door handle, she takes a deep breath and raises an arm.
Puppy wriggles legs, then tummy up onto a solid wood chair. Mum picks fish with intent, thoughts on the hollow girl. How she can fill her. Where she can find enough love to bring colour back to her face. How she longs to see her pretty hair curled and worn down. To see the lashes on those veiny eyelids flutter with delight.
With a soft grip thin fingers clasp around a cold brass handle.
Puppy hops up onto table top and starts into the bowl, the smell ever so strong now.
Startled, mum’s thoughts interrupted and left to hang in the air.
Shoe! puppy scrambles, Crash and clatter, salmon and black fur on the floor
Bones on the floor.
The bathroom door opens and steam pour out.
(post is fiction, based on a true story. I wrote it for my writing course. I was inspired to post this by emily’s request to help with a radio interview to help in promoting her book: Chasing Silhouettes )
time slips through my fingers
I try to flatten frizzy hair with clips and pins
my eyes show weariness from a long week of lost sleep.
of whispering “who will buy our house?” in the deep dark of the night.
He brought us a family
who speak a foreign tongue
the children work and the mother ties her hair up in a bonnet.
they dress up in hand-me-downs and drive past our windows in a second hand vehicle.
They are the family we prayed for, circled together in the kitchen, one afternoon.
I balm my chapped lips and look about my room, growing larger as it empties out.
soon this it will be empty then filled with another’s belongings
but it is not such a sad thought
because I know it is your will
and I know the house will be loved
a great deal of lessons will be taught here as they learn to own a house for the first time.
I whisper prayers into walls
walls that will protect this lovely family
“they will buy it” you whisper back to me
my fingers are cold and I drink tea all day
My plants now live inside
shivering on the top shelf of my bookcase
I sewed a hooded flannel to keep me cozy warm
said my prayers at bedside
and snuggled into my quilt.
A giggle of delight escaped her, she flung her brown hair back and looked up to see my reaction. Her eyes glittered and a smile stretched across her face.
We were playing school with felt giraffes and stuffed owls.
on the cold floor in the yellow room
a small pocketed quilt lay out at our feet
she impressed me with her knowledge of math and division, she must have learned from mum.
mum was teaching her now
soft voice flowing down the hall, mixed with steam and the smell of dove soap
mum was praising him, the steady stream of water making harmony with her melody, humbly lifting her voice to the heavens.
even in this storm of lightning bolt decisions and thunder clouds of blurred vision
my mother praised him, she thanked him
she let him now she was ‘his daughter.’
I remember this lesson as we swung on swings in the afternoon sun
giggling the same delighted giggle
this time laughing at brother with long legs twisted in a child’s toy bouncing back and forth
gangly and awkward
I remember how sister had shown us what she had learned moments before we left our house
In those moments she had brought us back to the father
we joined in a circle in the kitchen and prayed,
prayed for guidance
prayed for the family
i thought on this,
I pointed my toes to the heavens
and felt mums song swishing around my moccasins
a spider spins hope into a web on a white wall
a girl with three bracelets on her wrist types away on her keypad
a mother frets in the next room, brain working overtime
while husband snores beside her, tired from his long commute.
a child soon becoming girl, young woman, spins and dances
trying to find routine in chaos
tonight they will tuck her into a weighted quilt so that she does not float away
downstairs a young man is dreaming, his abstract mind twirling and looping, trying to embelish the fear deep within so that its easier to look at.
the clock on the wall ticks away
but the hands don’t move
tomorrow a family will walk these halls look in the rooms
look at the yard and see if there’s room to garden
if they are ready for change
so small on the wall
makes a web out of the smallest spool, threads dispensed from the tiniest hole in his bottom
makes a BIG and beautiful web
he’s spinning hope
he starts with the smallest amount and watches it grow
the clock ticks away
the hands will not move until the web is complete.