All I have is a torn, grainy photograph of a man I hardly knew.
He was a contortionist in Vaudeville and the photo shows him folded in two like a piece of paper. Folks who knew him told me he could put his head between his legs and get his wallet out of his back pocket with his teeth. I never saw this myself, but that’s his legend.
I sit with my grief
Constant, silent companion
Linda Lee Lyberg
-Linda Lee Lyberg
Six years ago today, I received an early morning call telling me you were gone. The nurse told me someone had been in to check on you, and they came back 15 minutes later, and your soul had moved on.
I read a lot about death in those weeks following. From what I read, the way you went- alone- was what many souls choose to do.
And while I am sad I was not there in those final moments, I know it’s what you wanted. If I had been there, I would have selfishly asked you to stay and you would have done all you could to do so.
-Linda Lee Lyberg
Here I bravely stand
Reaching out to give you my hand
To guide me through this unknown land
For you’ve been there, you understand
The blood of the doll is on my hands, so I must ink this story.”- Linda Lee Lyberg
“We have no choice. We must do it. The shaman said it’s the only way.” The four women stare down at the fully dressed cuddly doll on the ground. Sucking its thumb, the blue eyes stare back, challenging their decision.
Cadence opens her eyes and rolls over to look at her clock. 3:15 AM. She reaches for the glass of water on the nightstand and her hand touches an unfamiliar object.
Turning on her bedside lamp, she stares down at the velvet pouch.
She is alone in the house, save for her two cats. Where did this come from? Trembling, she picks it up, examining it. Lush blue velvet, no markings, no sign of where it came from. She unties the silk cord and inside is a small wooden box with a crescent moon carved on top. A music box.
Shaken, she winds up the box and the music begins. She recognizes the song immediately as It’s Only a Paper Moon. Wiping her tear-stained face, Cadence feels peace as the music comes to an end.
She does her best to go back to sleep, but her mind is full of questions. How did the box get on her nightstand? And why that song, of all songs? Counting the notes to the song instead of sheep, she drifts back to sleep.