On silhouettes, snow angels and sleep

by You Have My Word

She sweeps with the precision of a four-year-old colouring outside the lines. She drags the broom’s face across the floor, clotting it with dirt and hair and crumbs. Frantically, she pushes and pulls and pushes and pulls like she’s hauling someone out of a hole, desperate to save them.

The floor is littered with dust silhouettes where furniture stands untouched. She cleans around, not under. No one will know, if no one moves. She forces the filth out of her house like soldiers driving natives from their homes; they never return, she hopes the grime follows suit. 


She shreds diary pages with ardent fervency likened to what a meat grinder would do to bone, if left unattended. She’s heard the rumour that anything left to itself tends to chaos, and she can’t take the chance. There’s no telling what acrid slurs will do when burnt black and abandoned.

The hollow hardcover is now a snow angel in a shroud of fluttering half-truths. She used to lose herself between the paper and the ball of the pen, so often in fact, that she’s resigned herself to being lost. She writes and rips and writes and rips like she’s trying to undo what’s been done.


She sleeps like the dead – ghosts, busying themselves with the troubles of man. There are not enough sheep to sacrifice in the counting of her sorrows to will the wake away. The dark has taught her the murmurings of prayer; though they fall foreign from her tongue, she knows the night is gentle and slow to reprimand even idle words.

Quietly, she whispers to worship and worry. She dare not speak too loudly for fear of chasing away the stars. They are the company she keeps; they are the only ones that cradle her secrets and her dreams. They are far away enough for no one else to steal.