The Stain

She jerked upright in bed.

What was on her face?
Was it a tear?
Was it a drop?

She jerked upright on her towel
What was on her back?
Was it mud?
Was it sand?

She jerked upright on the cold stone
What was on her forearm?
Was it a rat?
Was it blood?

She jerked upright in her bed
What was on her face?
Was it a tear?
Was it her bed?

Enough of that now. Enough of those silly poems. Enough of these escapes.
She was in bed, staring at the ceiling. She’d been busy staring at it for the best part of the day. She could draw the ceiling with her eyes closed. She knew where the paint was peeling, where one could see the leftover pieces of the wall paper that used to cover it before the new owners decided to change it. She could point to the stains and spots with a scarf on her eyes.
She was slowly eating peanuts while staring at the ceiling. One by one. She was thinking about her family. She hoped her mother had managed to get that new dress she had seen in the shop last week, and that her father had not been too mad at her for it. She hoped her children would grow up to be fine people. She really wanted them to go to university. She knew it was possible. She knew they had the capacities. The teacher had told her so. “Those kids are bright kids. They have a bright future awaiting them. … If they start working and stop missing classes” what did she know that dumb teacher? Her children would achieve great things, with or without the missed classes. She was chewing her peanuts really slowly. Her eyes fixed on that ceiling. She was lost in her thoughts. Once she started about her children nobody could stop her. It always made her happy to imagine them all grown up, well dressed. Respectable people with jobs that would make all the neighbours green with envy. Those same neighbours, who had always laughed at her, ever since she was a young girl. They would see. She would show them what she was capable of, what she authored! Almost on her own. Her children would be the success story of the village. She was sure about that. And it made her happy. With that thought, she flipped another nut in her mouth. She was looking for the packet of nuts with her right hand, she had to refill her hands. It was getting dark now. Night was falling rapidly at this time of the year.  She was still smiling, happily lost in her dreams of glory and fumbling with the nuts in her hand when the man stood up He shook off his now limp penis, burped, zipped up and left the room, leaving the door open for the next in line.

She was lying on her back daydreaming again, of her mother, father and children, of her village.

She was not a poet; she was lying on her back. She was staring at the ceiling, eating nuts and smiling at her children’s successes in life.

She was not a poet.

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(May 28th, 2013)

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