dVerse — Prosery 20 — Hungry

 

Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy,
by Mary Oliver, from from Spring Azures from the book Wild Geese

Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy, especially on the nights I hear them, moaning and scratching at the windows. It’s the coldest January on record. I’ve unlocked the outbuilding, where they have set up ramshackle lodging amongst the chicken-smudged hay and battered tarps. Nearby trees have been stripped of limbs, fenceposts and deadwood gathered, and the old wooden swing was burned weeks ago. They are careful not to burn the building. Where would they go?

It’s hunger that brings them to the barred windows. The little ones, in meager rags, are the worst. Black dots stare from gaunt white faces.

An armored vehicle delivers groceries weekly. When my pension allows it, I buy extra. I cook a great pot of rice and lentils and set it outside. The pot is always returned shiny clean.

This week, the groceries didn’t arrive.

[144 words]

image:  “Abandonment” by Charlotte Kelly, created 2011.

Linda Lee Lyberg is today’s host for dVerse’ Prosery. Linda says:
Write a story of 144 words or less (not including the title). The story must have a beginning and an end, and should not be poetry. Sounds easy enough right? Here’s the twist: You must use the poetry line I have given you within your story. You may alter the punctuation, but you must use the line in its entirety. 

49 Comments Add yours

  1. lillian says:

    “chicken-smudged hay and battered tarps” — excellent details here. Oh this is such a sad story. Too real for many in refugee camps – This is sadness personified. But at the same time, the pot returned clean reminds us of the dignity of every human being.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Lillian thank you for your insightful comment.

      Like

  2. Ingrid says:

    I was thinking this was an excerpt from a story about a dystopian future, but as Lillian pointed out this is a reality for some children today. It is a tale full of humanity and I feel there is still some hope. I would like to read more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I hope the delivery is just delayed. Maybe in spring they can start a garden…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ingrid says:

        Spring always brings new hope!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. kim881 says:

    What a predicament for both the hungry people and the kind soul who is trying to help them, Lisa! I hope they found a way to get some groceries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes it is, Kim. I feel for the old lady who is afraid to let them in but still wants to help. Hoping the delivery is just delayed…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This could be a story from the past until you wrote about the delivery truck. Then it becomes truly dystopian with a world when even there are those that are poorer than the poor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes, it’s a very real possibility for the near future.

      Like

  5. So sad Lisa. There is an air of gloom within your words.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. merrildsmith says:

    So sad, and so real in many places now. A poignant reminder, Lisa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Merril.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. merrildsmith says:

        You’re welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Devon Brock says:

    What a wonderful piece!

    D

    Liked by 1 person

  8. sanaarizvi says:

    Oh this pierces my heart deeply 😦 such a stark portrait of the reality which some people face in the world we live.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Beverly Crawford says:

    What a tragic scenario you’ve created. Gives us all much to think about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much, Beverly.

      Like

  10. Glenn A. Buttkus says:

    Wow, at first I saw the bones themselves taking human form, and the story became dystopian and fantasy, a metaphoric modern fable. Then I could see it could be literal as well. An excellent write, Lisa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glenn, I always enjoy your expanding perspective on things as they expand my own view as well. Thank you.

      Like

  11. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    You are the queen of description…great job Lisa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      🙂 You are very kind, Max. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. What a evocative piece, Lisa. I love what you did with the prompt. Your use of imagery is incredible. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Susan.

      Like

  13. Dora says:

    Oh well done, Lisa! I was swept up into the atmosphere of desperation, guilt, and fear. And the ending is pure horror. 💀

    Like

  14. rothpoetry says:

    A great write Lisa. You really wove a spooky tale of bones haunting from the past into the present! And then you left us hanging waiting for the next chapter!
    I liked the image in this: Black dots stare from gaunt white faces.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you for reading and for your comment, Dwight.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. rothpoetry says:

        You are welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. robtkistner says:

    Too depressed to read and comment this evening, just saying hello – be back when I am repackaged.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Hope you are feeling better soon, Rob. Didn’t do much reading myself tonight. Will look for your poem tomorrow.

      Like

      1. robtkistner says:

        This is both dark, yet gently hopeful Lisa. Drew me right in. The picture was splendid, perfectly matched. I always appreciate your focus on coordinating your images with your verse. Well done.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Thank you, Rob, for reading, commenting, and noticing 🙂 I’m still trying to get caught up with reading yesterday’s and even missed the prompt for today which is really unusual.

          Like

  16. Sadje says:

    Heartbreaking story Li.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. memadtwo says:

    A chilling tale. Already true–too much living right next to nothing. And many caught in the in-between like the narrator. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Astrid says:

    This is such a gloomy story, and yet unfortunately it may be reality for some. So sad!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Astrid.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Starkly read and heart-wrenching.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Louise.

      Like

  20. poetrybydebi says:

    Don’t know what I can add to all that’s been said. It is powerful prose of stark reality and dire prophecy of a dystopian future. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much, Debi.

      Like

  21. Helen Dehner says:

    Hard to read prose, composed brilliantly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Helen.

      Like

  22. Dale says:

    Such fabulous and descriptive writing, Lisa. A sad plight for those desperate people who have the dignity to return the pot clean. Heartbreaking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you for your insightful comment, Dale. Yes it is 😦

      Liked by 1 person

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