Shallow

Early March with razor sunshine and shadows spilling — ink on corpses of winter melting to mud. It could have been the first day of spring, or the last day of my life. I had overslept and  crumpled the note you gave me for breakfast, the letter explaining what I couldn’t comprehend, not making sense of why you had left; I grabbed a shovel and waning I went…  

Out to the hazel wood, because …  a fire was in my head — this was my pyre, this was my place;  and boulders were breaking my back, my lungs wanted to swell with water…  but the rivers were dry.

Paths had faded since last we went here, still I came to the place where we had lain, gazing at clouds. 

The soil was still frozen, so my grave had to be shallow. 

I began digging.

Prosery today at dVerse, Kim hosts and we should weave prose of 144 words including the line:

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head’.

The lines are taken from ‘The Song of Wandering Aengus’ by Yeats.  

February 15, 2021

25 responses to “Shallow

  1. “This was my pyre, this was my place; and boulders were breaking my back, my lungs wanted to swell with water… but the rivers were dry,”…there is such deep emotion in this one, Bjorn! So much left unanswered.. I can picture the letter .. and the bewildered expression as he tries to make sense of it. 💝

  2. I love that first sentence. It immediately sets a tone. “The crumpled note you gave me for breakfast” like an offhand death sentence. What a tragedy 😦

  3. Oh, that’s a dark tale, Björn! I love how you start with ‘razor sunshine’ and how the ‘shadows spilling’ and ‘ink on corpses of winter melting to mud’ foreshadows the ending – although I didn’t expect the ending you gave us! Poor man! I like the juxtaposition of dry rivers and shallow grave, the significance of the spot he chose.

  4. “shadows spilling — ink on corpses of winter melting to mud” — Love this line, hinting at the coming spring, but alas, this man has nothing but winter’s despair in his heart. A grim tale.

  5. Wow! I’m still processing this whole story. You have rendered me speechless! It’s very grim, tragic, but beautifully delicate in the prose. Amazing.

  6. Strange that the wonderful hazel wood would spur so many of us into the dark side. Actually, it was the “fire in my head” that led us deeper into the shadows it seems. Your tale of despair is a gut punch, and a tear-jerker, that is so well written.

  7. This is beautiful, and in the end sad and heartbreaking. You are a master of twists in the plot, taking the reader somewhere unexpected.

  8. Not sure I’ve ever read anything about anyone willingly digging their own. I AM sure I’ve never read one as well-crafted as this. Great work, BR.

  9. When I saw your title, I thought it had to do with the Lady Gaga song “Shallows”! Beautiful write, Bjorn.

  10. I wish he had waited a few days to get his head around things before digging his own grave! A sad tale indeed. But I enjoyed your well written prosery!

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