The Unbridgeable Distance Between Natchez and Oxford

The worst part is that I knew.

Too much time had passed.  I pushed the thought from my head.

No time.  No time for that.

I was so close.  So fucking close.

Yet I didn’t go.  Too busy visiting, too busy with the minutia.

I couldn’t make time.

She was disappointed.

I explained.  She was still disappointed.

Who was she to me?  No one.  No one really.

No one but a kind old woman.  No one but kin.

Now she’s gone.  Just like that.  One Facebook message and she gone.

I am ashamed.

Tears don’t diminish regret.

Time is an illusion.  There is no such thing.

Do what you must and do it now.

Death waits for no one.

Not even the busy.

Not even me.IMGP5846

 

 

S. Conde

 

 

Nine Lives

Then there will be times when I go missing.

As a cat, I am.

Alone.  Dying quietly.

My preference.

Having nine lives, but only one face, everything shows.

Too hard to hide.  Best to be alone.

Licking my wounds in peace.

Healing.  Thinking. Regrouping.

Patiently awaiting the rebirth.

The next act.

 

S. Conde

 

 

 

 

 

Value

She was dead.

So well loved was she.  Still, one vulture came repeatedly, to pick over the corpse.

The old man called, “Come quickly, she’s taking everything of value.”

She could not go.  She could not participate.  What the old woman wanted her to have, she placed lovingly in her hand, days before death came knocking.  All saw.  None dared dispute her will. The old woman was wise.  She knew what was to come.

Time passed.

The old man called again, “You must come now!  There will be nothing left.”

Unwillingly.  Begrudgingly.  With leaden feet. She went.

She embraced the old man.  He appeared lost but with a sense of purpose.

“You came too late.”, he mourned.

She kissed him.

He led her around the house, pointing out what had been taken.  He opened her closet.  The smell of the old woman lingered in her garments.

Delighted.  She knew instantly what she wanted.

How did the vulture miss this?  She wondered.

The old woman and she had laughed at the ugliness of it.  Comfort was the old woman’s defense.  She wore it to run errands, to do chores.  Easy on.  Easy off. One piece and snapped up the front.

She took it from the hanger and packed it tightly in a plastic bag.

She kept the old woman’s vestment in her own closet now.  Occasionally, she would carefully open the bag…put her face fully in…and breathe deeply of the old woman.

 

S. Conde