NaPoWriMo 2023 — Day 21: “Where She Lay”

21. Where She Lay

There are a myriad
of ways to eat at a girl.    
Centipedes swim inside
empty eye sockets.
Beetles and grave flies
feast upon delicate
hands and small feet.
Harsh words from over
a decade ago haunted her
to a mud grave.    
               In absentia,
the mystery
bore the town’s
greatest ghost.

A wad of bloody hair falls 
from a ceiling post.       
           A hex
left behind,
a conversation piece
her lively clutter.
Torn fabric
from a potato sack dress
dolled up the drollery
of her flesh form.    
Scratching fabrics
were the deserved punishment.
Witch hazel covers the hole 
where she lay.

Today, a gelatinous worm
from a rotten apple coils
around a rusted knife
beneath a dingy pillow.
A caretaker
never falling too far 
from the hanging tree.
of murderous intentions
skins himself
into silence,
mutes the confession
by swallowed nightshade.

In a nearby glade,
the children
weep at the discovery
while night bugs sniff
at the skull.     
            The forest
is full of gawking creatures,
guarding sentinels, invisible,
       Wind is merciful,
the foul carrion

A hundred years
in the future
a curse remains.    
         A girl stumbles
while running,
twisting her leg
into a freakish shape.   
She screams too late,
her voice captured
by the gloved hand of 
an ingrate.   A dweller
with hunger
in his bloodline.

An owl hoots a warning.
A menacing glint
sings a swan song
in the summer
moon’s shine.

Photo by Irish_Eyes

Published by Jennifer Patino


18 thoughts on “NaPoWriMo 2023 — Day 21: “Where She Lay”

  1. Beautifully gruesome (and that’s from squeamish lil me, who read so closely I now have a pain behind my right eye that feels ‘crawly’)

    Ever read “Being Dead” by Jim Crace? This really reminded me of his writing 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

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