thirty (nuns fret not)

by nike, November 13, 2014

Lot’s Wife (1878) by Sir Hamo Thornycroft. From the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The thing is, I was always afraid of leaving you. Do you remember the story about Lot’s wife, leaving Sodom? The angels took her and her daughters by the hand. They led them out of the city, towards the hills. She would have been safe if she hadn’t turned back.

It was the turning back that I feared the most.

The last night we spent together I could not sleep. I went up to your room and watched you sleeping. You were curled around a pillow, hand beneath your cheek. I couldn’t bear to watch you, sleeping so perfectly content. I wanted you to be distressed, to toss and turn. But you slept like a child, held in mother’s arms.

You once said: Nuns fret not in their narrow beds. Meaning, they are content to be alone when they dream. I tried to form a perfect memory of you sleeping. An image to remind me of how little you cared. For what we had had; for what we had lost.

I tiptoed back to my room, but I wasn’t sleepy. I watched the light come tiptoeing in through the forest. I thought of Lot’s wife, out there on the plain. The salt of her body falling through her daughter’s hands.

I turned my face towards the wind, set my sail.

This piece is an exercise in literary constraint. Can you guess/see the rule that’s been applied to each sentence?


    • Quoll
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    • November 19, 2014

    Each sentence has exactly ten words.

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      • November 19, 2014

      That's right - have you ever tried something like that? It was fun, and challenging! :)

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