She births me every Día de Muertos, stuffs me with hope,
stitches me up with deeds.
“Hope isn’t hard to find,” she says. “The thing grows wild
out of the eyeballs of children and in the far stare of any well-lived adult,
who understands that ends are just new kinds of beginnings. Good deeds, well…
those take work and pain and blood.”
“It does hurt,” I say, clenching the painted cloth of my
teeth against the jabbing pain, rubbing the crimsoned stitches she is using to
secure the hope of young and old inside my chest.
“I know. I know it hurts,” she says, cutting the spare
thread with her teeth, and kissing the top of my head, before taking a step
back to smile at the newly born me. Her lips are bloodied. Red has trickled all
the way down to her chest.
“You got dirty,” I say, pointing at the cloth that covers
She unbuttons the top of her dress, revealing fresh ragged
stitches that mirror my own, and says, “Dirty? No, just marked by the price of
hope, scarred by life.”
“I’m sorry,” I say with a smirk, knowing the crooked lines
of my mouth morph the gesture into a creepy thing.
“Don’t be sorry, my Puppet,” she tells me, “just live for me.”
Her smile is a red kick in the face of impossible, it feeds me, frees me.
“I’m ready,” I say, and she touches my cheek with the back
of her fingers before setting me on the floor. I take a step and then another. On
the third step, my first stitch comes gently undone. I smile at my maker,
feeling the next stitch give way, letting my lifeforce—her hopes—spill and
spread into the world.
She births me every Día de Muertos, stuffs me with hope,
stitches me up with deeds… I share.
“Puppet”, by Shelle Kennedy
- this wee tale, which I wrote four years ago, was originally titled “On el Día de Muertos, the Puppet Feels”. I made some small changes: trimmed a bit here, stitched a bit there…
- for Poets and Storytellers United (Writers’ Pantry #44: Of Death and Ghosts in Books).
It's beautiful; I love your puppet.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Rosemary.Delete
I am glad you reposted this Magaly. Let's hope the gift of hope will find many people who may be hoping for some improvement in their lives.ReplyDelete
You're welcome, Robin. And I join my hope to yours!Delete
Ouch! Paging Miss Anesthesiologist. Your story took me to the E.R., Magaly, and the 52 stitches I had above my right brow. This puppet has extraordinary tolerance for pain. I was unconscious even before the surgeon started sewing. But hope is a powerful thing. I love this!ReplyDelete
You just reminded me that I had a lot of stitches when I wrote this one. I had forgotten!Delete
I so enjoyed your trimmed and stitched tale, Magaly, and that you have written it as a dialogue between the doll and its maker. As you know, I have doll phobia, so both tale and image gave me the shivers. No dolls in my house, only a couple of teddy bears and a woolly mammoth! But I did feel sorry for the doll, clenching the painted cloth of her teeth against the jabbing pain, and then surprise at the maker’s ‘fresh ragged stitches’ that mirrored the doll’s. And what a line: ‘Her smile is a red kick in the face of impossible’!ReplyDelete
I almost didn't add a picture to this one, because I know how much you dislike dolls. I'm glad you read it anyway. And the last line is a favorite of mine.Delete
Seriously, this story comes on very much alive. i don't know whether to run or stick around to check out some more (which might not be a good idea). :)ReplyDelete
Decisions, decisions, decisions...Delete
Interesting. Happy SundayReplyDelete
Thank you, Gillena.Delete
Oh you know I love her. I want her to come live with me. If she unraveled, I would stitch her back quickly, so her hopes would multiply before she unraveled more. Then I would sew her a little bag to carry her hopes in, so she could spread them along the path she travels. Love!ReplyDelete
I am picturing the little bag! If I write more of this story, which I think I will, I suspect there might be a bag.Delete
So much more comfy, a bag. Less painful, too.Delete
Thank you, Debra. Glad you found it to be so.Delete
This is so comforting and delightfully odd. I love the honest darkness in this, and how it births honest hope.ReplyDelete
Comforting and odd... I like that!Delete
Carry on , little Puppet, stuffed with hope, to which we cling precariously!ReplyDelete
I am stunned by the way hope is passed through this. The effort of the stitching is a reminder of old hobbies and painful patience.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Chrissa.Delete
It makes me feel very vulnerable and hoping that hope is already inside us.ReplyDelete
I hope, too...Delete
And we felt every word like the stitches in her chest XXXReplyDelete
Pain shared is pain halved. So that is great!Delete
The emotions your prose brought out in me were overwhelming. Pride, sadness, beauty, grace, hope. Thank you so much for writing it.ReplyDelete
You are most welcome, Helen. Thank you for reading, and sharing your thoughts...Delete
The Puppet's Tale had me read it again and again. The tale evokes a set of emotions, but overall beauty and grace with which the story is told come tops. I also like how the opening sentence becomes the closing. It's like stitching up all the goodness, hope stuffed in the story, to present as a gift to the reader. Outstanding write!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for this words, Khaya. I love the way you see it. I do, I do, I do.Delete
So beautiful. So love this and so needed to read it today. “Hope isn’t hard to find,” she says. “The thing grows wild out of the eyeballs of children and in the far stare of any well-lived adult, who understands that ends are just new kinds of beginnings. Good deeds, well… those take work and pain and blood.” This hit me where it need to!ReplyDelete
And that's the best thing we can hear about the words we share, isn't it? So, thank you so much, Susie.Delete
Is it really possible to say "I'm sorry" with a smirk? ;)ReplyDelete
I have 5 puppets, they have a permanent grin. So I guess the answer is yes.Delete