Mudslide – by Janette Kennedy


Danger brings us here, where the experts smile and say, “Just a little more time.” In their swagger, we let our secret seed out into the open, to bloom. It is a strong plant, with tendrils strong enough to hold us as we climb over the steep rocks.

This day, added to the next and the next after that, will get us somewhere. We believe it in the dew chilled mornings, holding the darkness at bay, and in the rough evenings when callouses give way and bleed.

The tendrils grow stronger, lift us up and turn us over as we dare to gaze up at the sky and dream.

We climb the mountain. Our dirt-filled brows drip with fog as we pull ourselves over the crest, to find a wind-whipped barren land. The experts grow wings and take flight, while the vines around us shrivel.

I have nothing left to give you, and so I take your hand as the mudslide of this life rumbles us down. No one comes for us that night, as the mud cakes our bruised bloodied bodies.

A tear trickles down and waters your hand in mine, as if it were a seed.


Janette Kennedy currently lives in Memphis, TN

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