Muse: I can see her there. It could be almost anyone, but I know with certainty that it is me. I’m so close to this that the only thing that marks it for something inside myself is the soft mist that surrounds the edges of the image, a slight blurring that casts a flat white shadow over it all.
She stands with arms crossed over herself, starring at something unseen. Waiting. Tears fall freely down her checks. I can feel the heat of them, real, and tangible. There is comfort in the close tenderness of them as they mark patterns on her cheeks. I can hear her silent plea; another that goes unanswered. I can feel the ache that is growing inside her, it feels heavy, lonely, and tired.
Slowly her chin moves out and up, a marked note of defiance creeping in to replace the pain. An angry fist scrubs the tears from eyes and face. I scream to her, a warning she cannot hear as my desperation builds with hers. I feel powerless, I feel her feeling of powerlessness. A feeling that provides the base for her decision, her only means of control, her only means of trying to strike out and return the hurt. It is a hurt that she can never emulate because it falls on someone who long ago forgot how to feel.
There is no emotion left on her face now, no trace of any pain that she is holding inside. There is not a trace of anything, she holds her face and body like a shell. She feels emptiness and pain, both of which are slowly filling with anger. She uses the anger, embraces it like a shield to protect her and move her forward. It is from here that the thought forms firm and clear, I will never smile again.
With a face devoid of emotion, blank, she stops waiting. She turns from the open doorway closing it softly to the emptiness beyond.
The image is gone as quickly as it formed. I am left feeling tired, and frightened. My muse is so ingrained in me that it is the well my writing springs from, like an emotional valve. A well that is often times dried up, or covered with an unmovable cover.
By Shari Marshall – 2016