Shadows

man-160034_640.

Credit: Pixabay

 

Once he was so alive–handsome, vital, and full of laughter. I miss his laugh. It was full of joy, never mean-spirited.

It was the first thing to go.

I didn’t notice at first. Chris was feeling the strain of his work, I thought. My husband was new to the firm. He was told to go to a client’s house for a deposition regarding a property dispute. Later, he said the man was creepy. I didn’t really pay attention to the details. I wish I had.

A month ago, Chris drove out to the property, but he never came home. I dreamt of him that night, and every night since. I know it’s him, even though all I see is his shadow. His shadow shouts. On a nightmare scream, I wake.

But now it’s not a dream. Chris’s shadow is here. Waiting for me.

 

For dVerse’s Prosery prompt, Björn has asked us to incorporate this sentence from Maya Angelou’s “Caged Bird”: “his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream”  

“Your piece of prose can be fiction or autobiographic, but you are only allowed to use 144 words (which means that you need to add maximum137 words that are your own.

You are allowed to capitalize and punctuate the given line, but you are cannot add any text inside the quote.”

So, this line is from Maya Angelou’s poem, but it has nothing to do with the poem’s meaning.

 

 

 

 

 

Horror, Storms, Pass the Wine, and Look for Grace—Monday Morning Musings

Monday Morning Musings:

“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.”

–Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House

“(“Do not equate nationalism with patriotism,” Perry warned Juliet. “Nationalism is the first step on the road to Fascism.”)”

–Kate Atkinson, Transcription

A storm comes and roars,

in waves upon the shores

and tears through towns

with rains and winds—the sounds

of climate wars

where there were homes

there’s now a void–

so much destroyed.

IMG_0187

Here we have only some rain and wind

nothing unmoored, nothing unpinned

from where it should be

the only horror we see

comes on TV,

where things go bumping in the night–

though not as scary as reality

yet we wish and keep hope afloat

that we’ll live to see things be all right.

 

Once we had a president who sang “Amazing Grace,”*

now we have one without a trace

of empathy or wisdom,

separating families,

putting them in prisons

behind barbed wire—

and who does he admire?

Dictators!

(and those who feed his ego—

please all of you, just go!)

 

So, as the days get dreary

I try to be cheery,

find color in pumpkins and leaves

FullSizeRender 620

that fall on ground and eaves.

I cook and bake

hope to shake—

if not the world—

then wake a few,

hope and wish,

the good and true

will outlast, outshine

redefine the new.

 

On a chilly day,

we brighten our spirits

with family, a dog, and wine

spend time conversing

about this and that

we chat about birth

(with a bit of mirth)

as my son-in-law is studying

to be a nurse–

(quite a path he’s traversed

to get there)

and we sit as children ask

to pet their cute pup—

until at last the time is up

and we must go

our separate ways—

well, it’s getting too chilly to stay.

 

FullSizeRender 619

Clouds over William Heritage Winery

I wake to morning mist–and sigh

think, today, I’ll take my apples

and bake a pie.

IMG_0202

We’ll eat it as evening

darkens the room

perhaps to brighten

fall’s impending gloom.

The cats will sleep on cushions nearby,

and we will bid the day goodbye.

 

 

*I was reminded of this when I heard Joan Baez on the New Yorker Radio Hour. Here the song is illustrated in a lovely, moving short animated film.

We watched the first episode of Netflix’s sort of adaptation of the Haunting of Hill House.  The original movie terrified me. I thought the first episode of this version (if you can get over that it’s not actually an adaptation of the story) was OK, but not great. But we will watch the next episode.

But we also watched the movie Eighth Grade–which really was wonderful–even though we all know that age has its own horrors.

I’m reading Transcription by Kate Atkinson. It’s wonderful.