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She lived in a land of reeds and marshesShe lived in a land of marsheswhere the reeds cracked gently in the breeze and whispered sad dying songsand fell asleep beneath the still water.It was her duty to push them into the depths when they had ripened,their hollow spines snapped beneath her slimy fingers as she folded them.On occasion she would dip her head into the watery thickness andshe chewed them like thick bamboo stems until her teeth wore down.She built nests on the city rooftops,fragile nests that broke apart and blew away in the afternoon rush.She tried to re-build the city,a city of reeds and rice paper and berries,but she was shunned,and her vision faded in the smogsong.Her lungs began to fill with a thick tar that ripped her open when she breathedlike paper cuts in her alveoli.And her ribs began to creak and crack and foldand snap into her tarry innardssinking like a stoic ship,until the final bubble broke the surfacejust like when she cut the final reed in the marshes.
CecelineAfter placing wildflowers on her graveand stepping back, you asked me togreet the grandmother I'd never met.As if your heart anchored mine, I hopedyou couldn't hear the crackling static ofintrusive thought;I reminded myselfthat Ceceline had always beenstories and photographsto me.
I'm glad you're still here."I don't want to be in a box in the ground,"you cried; I sat nearbyas the snow fell."But we all become the earth -when we are no longer here,we are everywhere"