Friday, March 16, 2007

She waits for the first of spring’s green buds to appear on the barren, spindly branches. All day she sits by the window, hoping to witness this miracle- tenderness pushing through rough, unyielding bark. She waits unmoving and unmindful. Time, family, and life hover at the edges as she waits. She sits awake through out the night, torch in hand, training the steadily weakening yellow beam on the emaciated macabre limbs. As the early morning skies bathe in the bruised morning light dark circles rim her eyes. Her hair is dull and her skin sallow. Force is used where coaxing and cajolery have failed. She lashes out silently, arms flailing and nails unleashing blood. Finally. A sign of sentience to accompany the ragged rise and fall of her ribcage.
A week goes by. She does not notice the thin tube that feeds her through the veins. The cleansing sponge and laden pan. The buds are yet to appear. A secret corner of her does not want them to. For the longer they take the longer she can believe. The longer she can hold on to the notion that nature is sympathetic to her loss. That it too is barren and dry.
It is the ruddy nurse with the rough touch and unfeeling touch who finds her. Head leaning against the window, eyes wide open, staring at the tiny green pennants that flutter in the early spring breeze.

7 comments:

beachedwhale said...

good one...reminds me of a story i read as a child, which was along the same lines... a single leaf on a tree gives a dying man the hope to carry on...

Shyam said...

I think the story you're referring to is O'Henry's The Last Leaf: http://mclibrary.nhmccd.edu/lit/lastleaf.html

Shoof: Why so melancholy?

aparna said...

yes!
Reminded me of the same OHenry. Wonderful it was. So's your story Shoefiend.

beachedwhale said...

yep..o'henry..that's the one... sniff...makes me all teary eyed reading it...

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

A totally different take on "The Last Leaf". Depressing but thought-provoking.

Sadly, fits in with my mood for the day.

J.A.P.

MW said...

Hi Shoefie,

What happened to your email address?

Help a fellow writer, please!

Had 2 questions about your articles in the newindpress sunday edition : How did you 'break' into the newspaper? Did you send one article and then another...
- Are you being paid? :)

Indiscreet, I know. I'm trying to gather info on writing for Indian newspapers and whether it's worth the trouble or not.

You can email me at mumbaiwallah@gmail.com, if you like.

Thanks.

MW

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