Nine

[10 May 2019]

She makes her way across the kitchen.
Slow.
Thump. Drag. Breathe. Pause.
Thump. Drag. Breathe. Pause.
Looks to her right.
Sunlight filters through white lace curtains and window-clings of clovers and rabbits and suncatchers of lilies and cardinals and bluebirds and white and green and red dance on the floor and on the white walls and the white kitchen table.
Keeps walking –
Thump. Drag. Breathe. Pause.
Thump. Drag. Breathe. Pause.
– and sits down at the table in front of an almost-finished raspberry jelly doughnut covered in sugar – the scarlet jelly spilling luxuriously out onto the white dinner plate.
Breath. Short. Shallow.
Adjusts her oxygen tube.
Breathes again. Short. Shallow.
Outside the window, a robin sings, building his nest in the plum tree in the backyard; soon, his song is joined by the killdeer from the marsh across the street.
Tries to raise her head.
Can’t.
Breathes again. Short. Shallow.
Classical music plays in the background – Vivaldi or Handel – the strings filling the house as the soundtrack to the smell of potato casserole in the oven and the jello salad on the counter.
Reaches out to grab the doughnut. Misses. Hands are shaking too much.
Breath. Short. Shallow.
Tries again. Grabs it.
Brings the piece up to her mouth and she takes the last bite and laughs, smiling –
a puff of powdered sugar
suspended
in mid-air, raining on her dark blue pants
and the freckles on her left hand.

Other sketches in this series:
One
Seven

24 responses to “Nine”

  1. orkidedatter avatar

    You made a movie in my mind, thank you🦋I wish you a wonderful day.

    1. Nathan AM Smith avatar

      Thank you so much 🙂 You as well! 🙂
      Cheers!

      1. orkidedatter avatar

        Wow, thank you, cheers.
        Take care🦋

  2. Kate's Bookshelf avatar

    For a moment I dreaded the ending, but then just that hint of delight. Very nice.

    1. Nathan AM Smith avatar

      Thank you so much! 🙂

  3. V.J. Knutson avatar

    You describe the struggle well.

  4. D. Wallace Peach avatar

    What an interesting poem, Nathan. I like the stark contrast of the mundane struggle set against the lush and vibrant details, and then how you bring them together in the last lines, the woman suddenly becoming part of the picture.

    1. Nathan AM Smith avatar

      Thank you very much! That was exactly my hope and I’m glad you experienced that.
      🙂

    1. Nathan AM Smith avatar

      Thank you so much 🙂 and thank you for stopping by!

  5. alyssa avatar
    alyssa

    even through our daily struggles, there is always room for delight. thank you for sharing x

    1. Nathan AM Smith avatar

      Thank you, Alyssa.

    1. Nathan AM Smith avatar

      Thank you so much 🙂

  6. mercymuse avatar
    mercymuse

    I really enjoyed the imagery here. Seeing the woman’s persistence through her struggle was powerful. lovely

    1. Nathan AM Smith avatar

      Thank you very much. That was the hope. A strong woman, indeed.
      Thanks for stopping by!
      Cheers

  7. neil reid avatar

    Really an interesting duo of images. Calm and some struggle. And that ending, a powdered puff of sugar and smile. Just right I think. Nice job. Do keep writing.

    1. Nathan AM Smith avatar

      Thank you so much, Neil. I really appreciate your kind words. And thanks for stopping by!
      Cheers!

  8. […] Other sketches in this series: Nine […]

  9. […] Other sketches in this series: One Nine […]

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