Friday, August 6, 2010

Waiting

Prose poem for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night #6

Long black hair veils grief as she rests her head next to a still warm hand. The rise and fall of her body matches the old woman’s who lies on the bed. Life moves in and out of this small dark room in the back of a 20’s bungalow. A home that has passed through the hands of many generations.

The younger woman looks up, takes the rough spotted hand, now mostly bone, into her soft manicured one. With her other hand she gently strokes the ancient one. Perhaps she can discover all the stories imprinted there. Years of hard work and endless caresses have left the old woman’s skin dry, translucent. Veins are visible, but stories are memory now and locked deep within both the silent one and the one silenced. Years are released with every breath and for a moment young and old become one. The woman lays her head down upon the still rising chest.

The silence is broken when the door is cracked open. A slant of light eases its way into the darkness and strikes strands of silver woven through black draped over the last moments. Those waiting wonder, hover, but don’t enter into the shared breath.

Darkness and darkness still. Breath then quiet, then breath again. Hands hold onto life a little longer, holding until the last breath is held forever. Breath then quiet. Then quiet, then quiet, then quiet…

©2007 Joanne Elliott

13 comments:

  1. oh wow that echo at the end is very effective...nice bit of prose this week and conveys a depth of feeling...

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  2. What a lovely capture of that last breath between the two women... you held that last line very well ~

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  3. great piece... very haunting in a way

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  4. Wonderful piece, great job capturing the emotions throughout. Enjoyed it!

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  5. i love that you focus on the hands...and then taking us slowly to her last breath...beautifully and sensitively done joanne

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  6. very lovely-- puts a lump in my throat. Compelling details and I love the way you bring this down to one amazing element- of the breath. xxxj

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  7. a very haunting prose, great imagery you have used to capture the emotion. Wonderful write ~ Rose

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  8. Beautifully and hauntingly done.

    Much to think upon here.

    Lady Nyo

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  9. nice moving prose, great write.

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  10. What an enigmatic place that is, between this world and the next, when there is no more striving but an acceptance of what is. Beautifully shared here.

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  11. Veins are visible, but stories are memory now and locked deep within both the silent one and the one silenced.
    Such a delicate, revealing line among your powerful prose poem. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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  12. Thank you all for the lovely comments.

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