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LAce Posted Monday, May 7th, 2012
A Small Candle
Beate Sigriddaughter

"It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness." That's what the fortune cookie said.

Always obedient to wisdom, she lights a candle.

First a mandala of cockroaches pulses into all directions. Next vision: all that trash. So that's what the smell was all about.

She hitches up her winter dress and knots it out of the way. This garbage sounds alive, louder than rain forest leaves. You'll not amount to anything now, it rumbles. We win.

Her stomach clenches, her cheeks feel cracked with grime that stings under tears. She bends down for a sodden cigarette butt, the first of many. She wishes she had a litter pickup stick, but she doesn't. Soon her basket holds also a syringe, a bus ticket, a scrap of fishnet stocking, a muddy velvet Valentine, a scalped Barbie doll without arms, and all the soggy news of a careless world. Her hands reek of ash; she must keep them away from her face.

A cat stares with vertical eyes.

The comfort of darkness is gone with its sinewy hopes, its cobalt trapeze, its soft contralto in a chapel, its innocence gazing at a moonlit gecko clutching a ripe mango on the road.

Wish her a larger candle or a mountain top. She has more energy than she believes.

Comments [post a comment]

Posted by Donna Levy [ ] on Monday, March 25th, 2013 at 9:21 PM
Awesome writing. Bravo.

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