Wednesday, December 16, 2009

3 and a Half Fortnights

Squatting behind a hawthorn bush the littlest dogman watched Lela work her rosary, her fingernails making a scrapping sound against the beads. Lela watched the assistant to the assistant rector leading the procession, a woman with a small child trapped between an enormous oak tree and a lamppost, the child wailing, the woman tugging angrily on his tiny arm. ‘that’ll be enough’ screeched the woman. ‘I told you not to run in circles like a harebrain fool… now look what you’ve done’. Tugging harder mother and child followed the procession into the park behind the aqueduct, Lela, working her rosary, staring off into the distance, the littlest dogman thumbing his nose with the back of his hand. ‘hurry up’ yelled the woman, ‘we don’t have all day you know’. At that moment the sun disappeared behind a panoply of white clouds, the day descending into night, the lamplighter, awake and ready for work, checking his kit for matches and fresh wicks.

The pain started in her elbow, working its way through her wrist and into the tips of her fingers. This was not the first time: once before it had started in her lower jaw, moving like a arsonist into her neck then down into her breastbone where it burned for three and a half fortnights. ‘nothing… that’s what you’ll be’ said her mother rousing her from sleep every morning. ‘an ugly little nothing’. Lela cowers in the corner, her mother circling her like a rabid dog. ‘smell this’ her mamma barks, ‘this is what you’ll smell like’. Lela falls back into the wall, her mamma’s finger smelling of fish and sweat.

No comments:

About Me

My photo
"Poetry is the short-circuiting of meaning between words, the impetuous regeneration of primordial myth". Bruno Schulz

Blog Archive