Night Lay like a Leaf

I’ve been getting back to writing lately, so in the absence of much personal artwork to show this month I thought I’d share this with you 🙂

***

The world was in darkness. Night had unfurled like a leaf and fallen in a single hour. The golden promise of evening had disintegrated, and now the stars were emerging like pallid flowers from loam. Beneath the trees the gravesite was still.

A footstep stirred the dry leaves of years. A voice animated the heavy air, “Oh Lady of Ribbons…” There was a sigh, an outrush of anticipation from the forest shadows. Tapers came to life, encircling the grave mound. Whispers took up a chorused response:

“Oh Lady of Ribbons, whom do you mourn?”
Myself of the moment past.

Slowly, the circle shuffled closer. They set their tapers down on cold earth, until the mound was banked in fire.

“Oh Lady of Ribbons, whom do you fear?”
Myself of the moment to come.

A cloth was brought forth, heavy and black with water. It billowed through the smoke and smothered the mound like a shroud.

“Oh Lady of Ribbons, whom do you pity?”
Myself of the infinite now.

Stones were placed around the mound, one for each pair of hands. Modest in size, they anchored the shroud no less implacably for that. The attendants stepped back, leaving only one to stand before the grave, its outline blurred in the darkness. “Those who stand will fall. Those who fall may rise. Those who are anchored by fire and water and stone, they will endure.” The speaker stepped back among its fellows, and there was a brief rustling between the trees. Soon the gravesite was still again. Smoke lingered on the wind. Night lay like a leaf, ’til it was turned by a breath into morning.

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