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Delilah is sensitive to the wind and the trees that bend in their wake. photo by Colin A. Danville

Delilah is sensitive to the wind and the trees that bend in its wake.
photo by Colin A. Danville

“Across my back. It doesn’t even bother me. I think it’s like a piece of art. Like some great painter was gonna make a masterpiece on me, but then just stopped. Got called away to some better commission. And if I could turn my head around on my neck, I’d finish the job. It kind of looks like a bird that could almost fly. Just needs some wings. Crazy how I got it too. Slipping on the rocks in the creek back of my grandmother’s house in North Carolina. Running after some pretty thing. I don’t know if it was a butterfly. Maybe just a leaf. Maybe just the sun teasing me, flickering through the trees. But I couldn’t help it. Something was so beautiful, just up ahead, and I had to find it and touch it with my hands. I always been that way. Having to reach out and touch things. Feeling the life of a thing in my own hands. Not just looking at it or hearing about it. But actually knowing it with my own fingers. Rubbing it’s existence into me, so then I could really say, “ah, I know what you are.” So that day was no different.

It was the summer before I turned eleven. Mama was so worried I’d busted my spine or something, but I got up just fine. The gash was so deep though. Had to get stitches and all that. But it was into the muscle. The jagged tooth of a rock sliced through me. Nature’s little Michelangelo going to work on me. It hurt like hell, and took months to heal before I could bend my back in normal ways. And Moriah had to bathe me. She was good at it, even though she was just four years old herself. She always been gentle like that. Always been able to take care of me. She wasn’t even scared of the blood and the scabbing. And she always used something warm and soft to clean the wound. Now that it’s healed, it’s not as wild looking. But it’s still not smooth. And I’m glad. I love telling this story, I love how it feels when my shirt brushes against it. Reminds me I almost have a bird stitched into my soul. Wonder where she’d go if she did have wings.” ~~ Delilah answering the question, ‘Do you have any scars?’

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