Pretending to linger I make a show of standing on the threshold one shoulder inside this room we’ve filled with moments, cheeks smooshed against windows limbs spilling, grasping from cupboards unclosed and floorboards lifting loose to show the bodies no longer hidden, buried beneath.
Time tests all things, makes steady work of wearing out these old duds, till they fall off and run like sand along the length of your hourglass, or come back into fashion, following along worn grooves and ever turning cycles deepening down each mark.
He wants to know why I’m so bothered by such a small incidental thing. Doesn’t understand the ratcheting wind in my nerves has been so slow, so steady, so long in the build up that any reason is good enough to make me snap.
The shock of it. A feather brush among brittle spines, and it’s body, whole, a weight unexpected from the straw I am scattering from these hands. Fallen, twice over now, from rafters, eaves, hollows above these stables, the last place this swift would know.
When I was younger and stayed with my grandparents on a regular basis, I used to help with mucking out the stables. I have such vivid memories of picking up a bale of straw, shaking it loose, and a dead bird tumbling out. My grandmother’s explanation was that the bird had died in the rafters and fallen into the bale. I’m not sure if that was actually how it ended up there, but it happened enough times that straw and hay bales have freaked me out slightly ever since. Not a great phobia for someone whose whole family has been involved in agriculture at some point or another. Today’s Quadrille prompt brought this memory bursting to the forefront, so despite my inability to so much as look at dead birds these days, I managed to work it into my response.
In less morbid news, happy International Women’s Day, and Women’s History Month! Over the weekend I posted a piece on Britain’s First Female Historian Catherine Macaulay. For those of you who know of Mary Wollstonecraft, Macaulay was a contemporary, and her ‘Letters On Education’ which call for equal education for girls and boys, predates Wollstonecraft’s ‘A Vindication of the Rights of Woman’. While it’s not poetry, I would love to hear any thoughts anyone may have on the article as I’m now working on my third ‘Women In History’ piece which looks at the women of the Peasants Revolt in 1381.
On the very edge, where you go to curl your toes into prayers. Ten tiny bodies bent shoulder and hip heads tucked in tight as if curved spines can protect them from the weight pressing forward, you, so wind washed of expression, clinging on.