Eden Brooksdun Platt

orange sunspots 3

The small time apprehensions I had had were never sated. If there had been the falling of a bough from a thunderous tree, I would look only to the open sky. And when a stream had over-flooded, my eye fell on the brightened pebble, once the mud had cleared days, or weeks later on. In another age I might have been deemed ‘delicate’ and in another ‘tender-hearted’ and even in a third perhaps a bit ‘melancholic.’ In this one, I am afraid, no just appellation fits, and there just isn’t a glass slipper, even if in the bottom of a lake, frozen over by a star-cracked sheet of crystal ice, there had drowned there indeed a noble and youthful prince. There are only whispers ever had, and other whisperings which have come before even that. When looking afar across mountains, from one mountainside to another, beyond the valley that lies between the two, you can see the banded snow clouds about to drift from the south to the north, and you know the needles of trees high up near the summit will next soon be covered with the white dust of winter. But, and this is the important thing, I had never—but once or twice in my life—been within that distant forest. I may not have lived inside the snow. Still, there had been in my life a spell of enchantment. I carried it with me everywhere. It was like a calendar without numbers or dates but many pages, all blank, to turn. Or like a faceless watch to be worn on my wrist—without either figures or hands marking its empty surface, yet housing within itself a beautiful jeweled mechanism, bound finely with little rubies and other precious stones from Switzerland allowing it to run always perfectly. For these reasons, when I had been upon the Mediterranean I threw handfuls of sand back into the sea. And when I was in the Alps, soft mittensful of snow into the clear icy air. And at other times, I reached into my raincoat and tossed away all the sunshine and raindrops, too, still hiding plentifully in my pockets.

Doreen Smith McAullister

 

norwegian fjord

I had a little jewel-box and this is what I kept. A single dragon wing. A copper colored penny from 1959. A plastic salt shaker from an airplane ride that was red and the size of any ordinary sewing thimble. In it too were memories. There was not a single object else. A diamond bracelet I had never received. A trip across Ireland in a tinker covered wagon never made. The smell of the hand-carved sandalwood always still reached me. And the smooth feeling of the hinges when the top was opening and closing still pleased me…Below the deck traveling one night alone the half-carved block of Gjetost cheese I heaved from the lower porthole into the mouth of the fjord’s waters this relieved me so much I smiled before the arctic moon probably hiding somewhere else. The splash of it I never heard. The loss of its awful raw milky taste must live in me for miles a while longer.

 

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