17 Days by Linda Simoni-Wastila

Sometimes, under the gauze and yellow salves, under the allografts patching your body like so many potato and corn fields planting God’s earth, I glimpse you, the real you, my twinned soul from before, the brother who rode me on handle-bars, who beat up the bully on the bus, who read me to sleep when we were kids, the way I read to you now, and that’s when I grip your hand, the good one, glad the explosion incinerated the poison inside even if it burned off your smile, because now you are yourself, pure, saved, clean these 17 days.

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20 Comments

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20 responses to “17 Days by Linda Simoni-Wastila

  1. Oh my, I was so shocked by the ending. But it’s totally believable. It’s really quite amazing, Linda.

    • Thank you Matt. This builds off a character I barely birthed in another 52/250 flash. I was wondering what happened to him, and this came to me. Peace…

  2. Alexandra Pereira

    Wow… what a story! So powerful in its telling and message… I liked the comparison “…patching your body like so many potato and corn fields planting God’s earth”. Well done. :-)

  3. You have a tendency to find those relationships, those moments, those powerful bits of drama that send the world out of whack, and then present them so eloquently we’re not sure what we’ve just been through!

  4. Beautifully heartbreaking and poetic.

  5. Really very powerful. I love the potato and corn fields simile. It stuck with me, so that at the end, I imagined him as having been burned, ploughed, turned over…

  6. guy

    Is it finding the silver lining or callousness? Pure, saved, clean, but left with one good hand and perhaps no face? It sounds like the narrator is still at war. There’s tension in their relationship even if he doesn’t speak.

  7. Roberta Lawson

    “burned off your smile;” yes. interesting and moving and complex. there’s so much worked into so few words.

    • Thanks for reading Roberta. My burn victim is a meth addict. One of the first things the drug destroys is the mouth — the gums deteriorate, the teeth fall out, the lips crack. Peace…

  8. strong and powerful. “allografts” a new word, too, that’s an extra plus to a wonderful story.

  9. Fiercely good, Linda. A very vexed question you pose here. Who is the decider? Here, the one with lips, two good hands, and clean. ‘Clean’ is so ringing.

  10. The moment you create is of such a hushed intimacy, their past filling the space as much as their present selves, this is full of longing

  11. Pingback: Week #42 – Under wraps | 52|250 A Year of Flash

  12. You have a real gift for presenting the tragic in truly poetic fashion. Excellent read.

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