Francesca

francesca_woodman
Image  by Francesca Woodman

The silent embroiderer continues to weave. The rain tinkles, their spherical bodies dashing themselves against the window panes.

Her needle; quick – sharp – is the sniper resting on the water’s edge. Then it dives in, that little pinprick of red, and a flame slowly flickers on the surface of cobalt silk. That sudden flare, the inevitable anger! She stops her work, startled.

Then it quivers; dilating in a spectrum of orange, and the sudden memory of a held-back slap inches its way to the surface. A tear-streaked face, painted in hazy shades of white and grey, keeps repeating: “No, mamma.”

She tilts her head, grappling with the memory, her eyes narrowing involuntarily. The hazy film continues, unaided. But the persistence of her laconic reply rapidly gives way to the explosion. The hand moves suddenly, from out of the corner of her eye, and a tingling sting radiates across her fleshy cheeks, stippling its anger across naive flesh. “But why, mamma?” And another slap. “But why?” Slap.

Then it dims to night, as if someone had turned the light down a notch, and a blanket swims into view. Its hunched folds, pregnant with a slowly ebbing warmth and some strange, pernicious yearning now seems to her like that distant glimmer of stars, brushing against cold, stiffened feet, offering some unfulfilled premise of yet another forgotten story:

But what? And why?

She touches the cool metal, that sits neatly in the clasp of her throat, that silent observer, yielding no truth to her curious fingers, but pressing down on that hollow at the base of her throat.

Her chair creaks. The damp air clings to her. She stops her embroidery, and looks out through the dirty windows.

The cuckoo, doomed forever as that instigator of abandonment, starts crying out its wretched call in the fading daylight.

© Zelda Reville


Again: hi.

Edit: Just realized that today is my 2nd year anniversary on WordPress. Damn, I feel old already!