dVerse — Prosery — Visitor

07c Sunlight through the clouds original 021720

It is a moon wrapped in brown paper
from, “Valentine,” by Carol Ann Duffy

The small, square window’s bars are iron grey. Much of the time I’m a thin lump hunkered on a concrete slab, sandwiched between straw mattress and cotton feather tick. Only my capped head, bright eyes, and red nose are visible. Even lice die when it’s this cold.

I hear the squeaky wheels of the cart that starts and stops. Three times a day the tin tray is shoved through the slot at the bottom of the door. Lumpy, tepid gruel; over-boiled vegetables with animal broth; and a desiccated potato with mystery meat. On Sundays, we are given a piece of withered fruit. It also marks time. I scratch another line on the wall next to a tattered photograph.

She visits through evening’s window. The bars disappear. It is a moon wrapped in brown paper. I reach out and open my gift. I’m warm again.

[144 words]

Björn is today’s host of dVerse’ Prosery.  Björn says:
Write a piece of prose that incorporates the given set of words and they have to come in exactly the order given, but you may break it up with punctuation. The maximum number of words is 144 (which is a gross) including the given line. Many try to hit that mark exactly, but it’s not mandatory.

70 Comments Add yours

  1. This an exceedingly beautiful work of prose. Simply beautiful in its writing – well done and thank you! ✒️✒️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Ami, thank you very much.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Gillena Cox says:

      A comforting moon. Nice one
      Have a good Monday

      Much love…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. msjadeli says:

        Thank you, Gillena. You also.

        Like

  2. I love the way you describe the prisoner’s hard life… to have a moon visiting may be something to take you over those long years. Or maybe the cart is what brings it all to an end.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      I hope the prisoner is released soon, one way or another. Thank you, Bjorn.

      Like

  3. lillian says:

    What a scene you paint for this prisoner. I feel it ….
    ” Even lice die when it’s this cold.” This line is the penultimate line to express this misery. What a line!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      The human will to live is strong. My heart goes out to this person. No crime warrants this punishment.

      Like

  4. Dale says:

    Wow, Lisa. Your writing is stellar, rich, evocative. I kept wondering how you were going to bring in the moon… Wowsers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Dale, I wondered also! It was a challenging line! Thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dale says:

        Man oh man… I’ve been thinking about it since it popped into my inbox!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. merrildsmith says:

    So sad, lonely, and so evocative. Lisa, this is one of the best pieces I think you’ve written.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Merril. I’m sure it is the life of many a prisoner.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. merrildsmith says:

        I’m sure it must be.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Ain says:

    Stunning setting, stunning description….the comments say it all…I feel a bit like a judge in an Olympic ice skating or something…each story just seems to be better and better that I read tonight…I just think you have not written better…really superb piece, technically, emotively, for it’s power….beautiful,,.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Ain I’m glad you connected with it. Thanks much.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ain says:

        Think I expressed myself badly….I am not sure I have read much better writing….and a part of that was the setting, really exceptionally good.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Ain before I retired I worked with juvenile probation and have seen mostly kids in lockups but also visited their parents in the jail. Combine that with what I’ve read in books, read in journals, and seen in film, and it was easy to create a composite. I had in mind Ivan Denisovich, but sadly many in modern prisons live this way also 😦

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Really fine depiction of a joyful moment amid all the nasty reality of a jail sentence. I have not read ‘One Day In the Life Of Ivan Denisovich’ since high school

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Larry. I haven’t either, but it stuck with me.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I agree with the other comments. It is good, in every way. Technically good and satisfying.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. well done Lisa!👏

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The entire piece is just brilliant, but I love that last paragraph.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Sascha thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re very welcome. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Beauty of the distant moon bringing comfort. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Petru, thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Carol anne says:

    Awwww this is beautiful Li! I love it! Well done you really did a fantastic job on todays prosery prompt! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Carol anne, thank you 🙂

      Like

  13. sanaarizvi says:

    This is incredibly poignant especially the image of the squeaky wheels of the cart that start and stop. Beautifully rendered 💝

    Like

  14. calmkate says:

    this is an intriguing masterful write Lisa, drew me in and haunts/taunts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Kate thanks so much ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. calmkate says:

        most welcome Lisa!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. rothpoetry says:

    So very good Lisa! I love this: “Even lice die when it’s this cold.” A great line!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Dwight. I feel so bad for this prisoner 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. rothpoetry says:

        Yes, that would be awful! It was much like that during the Civil War, from what I read and hear.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Yeah, bringing the moon in at the end like salvation… very cool. I could see this story expanded, building on this relationship with the moon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks much, D. You never know!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. memadtwo says:

    That’s beautiful Jade. What keeps him going I expect. (K l

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Beautifully written, Lisa, kind of heartbreaking!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Christian, thank you, yes it is.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Sadje says:

    Wonderful lines Li.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Sadje, thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        You’re welcome Li

        Liked by 1 person

  20. So beautiful full moon 🌕 this month we have auspices , but here evening everyday rain 🌧
    Couldn’t see moon 🌷🙏 grace wishes 👏🌷

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much, Thattamma. Hoping you are able to see the moon very soon. There is something so reassuring about seeing it there, up in the sky.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much friend , today night full moon and
        Thick cloud and can’t see, hope so tomorrow 🌷🙏♥️🌷

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          You’re welcome ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  21. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    the moon is the prisoner’s savior

    Like

  22. ooooooh….. sad, beautiful, and clever, Lisa.


    David

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, David.

      Like

  23. K.Hartless says:

    Magical, Lisa. You do it every time I visit your page, and somehow in 144 words you put us in the worst prison imaginable and then set us free.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Karen, what a wonderful thing to say. You made my day. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I loved this little piece of prose. So much beauty within such few words! :0

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Veera. Much appreciated.

      Like

  25. Helen Dehner says:

    “Hugoesque”in tone ~~ I love this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks much, Helen ❤

      Like

  26. Wow- you capture the isolation here so well Lisa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Linda thank you. It’s more than a little autobiographical. This winter weather is getting to me!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, that’s remember when I lived in Philly. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Such a brilliant, evocative write, Li. What incredible joy the moon brings to the prisoner’s miserable life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Punam, thank you very much for reading and your comment. Yes, I don’t think the prisoner could continue without it.

      Like

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