So they found her bones buried where bones need to rest after a tumultuous life–six feet under embraced in the arms of the cool, quiet earth. She’d been known to many simply as Sis. No one ever got a real name or authentic identity. Oh, there was speculation. Unimaginative persons believed her an ex-hooker running from a sordid past, maybe an irate mustachioed pimp with bulbous arm power. Others even less imaginative blamed mental illness or social disease. Kinder souls hitched her autonomy on a God barter to new beginnings. Perhaps all of this was true. Probably most of it wasn’t.
They said Sis’ life appeared full on the outside. She’d been full of goodness. Working at the local soup kitchen, where she slept on the olive bird couch in the storage cellar after everyone else went home. They’d found photos of her under that stale sofa when she was younger and special. She’d been lovely. Beautiful to many. Dark hair, sad eyes, lips forever straight bearing no hint of expression but tender just the same. There had been someone in her past, maybe her present. It was heartbreak. Sis was broken. Full on the outside. Empty on the inside. Did it have to be love that put her bones away. Wasn’t it always. Love of country, love of belief, love of self, love of another. It was love. Would always be love that did one in. Their bones steamrolled.
Before Sis died at the tender age of 54, she often spoke of death. Not in a sad way but rather accepting of its virtues. Making room for fresh, new soft babies. She’d grown tired before her time. Sis wore worn out shoes. Worn in a way–telltale story of tired legs traveled long miles and longer years. She’d once regaled a childhood memory about a pink stuffed bull. She’d been a Taurus. Loved being born in May. Sis had been a bull that was stubborn as an ox. Not letting anyone do anything. She did for herself and everyone else. It was chipping away at her flesh, this goodwill of self-destruction. Dying yes, she thought about it all the time and didn’t mind. She was not fearful of the end.
Once there was a stuffed pink bull nearly bursting at the seams with polyester fill. Sis tells them in her dreams she slices the bull’s belly open and orange and black Monarchs fly out. She’s happy the bull is dead and the butterflies are free to fly–to die on their own terms. They exchange no significant glances, those insects. They thrive on the fringe of life’s fabric. She once whispered to herself how much she missed him. No one spoke the way he did. No one. There was her silent heartbreak. He. She said once, she almost understood life. Others made her comfortable. They looked into her sad eyes and made her smile. They did. On the outside. He. She smiled on the inside for. She did but could never tell him.
She died with these thoughts.
Her bones smiling. No more pain. No more hiding. And a new baby into the world crying and sucking…
sketched last year, I know I must do more art. Please bear with me, not much time day-to-day…