She Became Pickaxe and Shovel

“The best moments in reading are when you come across something—a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things—which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.” ~ The History Boys, by Alan Bennett

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“Don’t pity flesh or bone
that doesn’t have to breathe
pretty poisons,” she whispers.
“Wail for people too deaf
(self-damned or senseless)
to listen to their dead.”

“People do listen,”
I say, “they wear their dead’s tongues
on signs, on t-shirts.”

“Showing without doing
isn’t becoming,” she tells me.
“Read the tombstone.”

I open my mouth to read aloud,
but her finger is on my lips.

“Feel the words,” she says,
taking my hand, guiding it
over the epitaph.
Through feel, I listen:

When conflict threatened
to take root in her soil,
she became
pickaxe and shovel.

“Become,” I say.

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the wee notes…
–  Linked to Friday Fictioneers. Visit Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog, to enjoy interesting tales. Then follow this LINK, to read what others have read (and felt) on the tombstone.
– Also, linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads. Karin asked us to write poetry inspired by “Outsider Art”. Since I am my favorite outsider artist (I’m also very modest *cough*), I chose to pair Friday Fictioneers tombstones with one of my blackouts.

photo by Liz Young