The Girl in the Coat
The harsh Winter was almost over, yet no less fierce with the promise of precious Spring about to come: that blissful, two, three weeks at best, tolerable weather event, before the incomprehensible heat of Summer broiled us in our skins.
The girl, she was shivering under blankets plundered from the last town we passed; the forsaken church we had taken shelter in, before the roof collapsed under the weight of snow as filthy and heavy as a Christmas scene postcard sent straight from hell.
The girl, feverish, with me as her guide, the endless walking, sleeping in abandoned trucks and barns, chicken coops long ago ransacked of fowl and eggs, the girl, the girl, the girl and me, hiding in trees from marauders and murderers, and those driven mad by Summer and Winter’s brutal empire… the girl, oh that poor girl, how she shivered.
The girl, in her fever, she called out to me: “Mommy…” and I wept for the girl, and for her mother too – and whichever cruel season had snatched her away.
And I wondered: should I give the girl my coat… if I did, she would surely survive until Spring, yes, but I would freeze, for certain, me… her weathered protector, her compass, her source of advice and well of resourcefulness, her hand to hold in countless blizzards and wind and rain and fog and storms, and heatwaves out to desiccate us.
The girl, I stared at her trembling bag of bones body, me… with no maternal feathers nor stripes to call my own, and she, the girl, the girl, no daughter of mine, just a girl I once found hiding under a bed; the girl who I take my coat off to and wrap around her frame, and fasten each button as her eyes at last brighten, and me, shivering now, the fingers of the wind entering my pores like frost-swords and ice-needles, my eyes glazing over as I give the girl up to the coming of Spring and all I had taught her.
#climate #change #care #love
The Girl in the Coat is inspired by The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Huge thanks to Denise for hosting Six Sentence Stories #inspiring