Monday, August 28, 2006

Entry #76

Opal Moon
by Natalia Antonova


On nights like these I miss Opal. Her name, old-fashioned, alien in a family full of Suzies and Jacks, a round and soft, Oh-pahl, belongs in a poem to be read by this sort of moonlight.

She was seven years my senior, and not an “aunt” at all, with her girlish posture and fairy stories. Uncle Jack and Opal had been married for six months when Jack drove his car into a tree. She made a good widow, despite her fondness for the color white.

Everyone thought that Opal never married again because death was not a sufficient reason to let Jack go, but Opal simply couldn’t stand the idea of another well-meaning drunk with hairy arms. She was through with men. Her father used to beat her. Her mother grew fairy wings and fluttered away into the night, and did not leave a forwarding address. Years later, Opal would do the same, but I didn’t know it as I hugged my knees and listened to her spin her tales. The night, it seemed, would last forever. So would Opal. And my youth.

I am twice as old now as Opal was then. I leave the window open, letting the night wind ruffle my hair with trembling fingers, the way Opal did

Opal like a flower, in heaven’s… But I’m no poet. Just a receptacle of memory, a well at the bottom of the night, wherein the moonlight flows freely, polishing these gems in an eternal undertow of time.

15 comments:

Bernita said...

Nice voice!
Particularly liked "she made a good widow," and "a well in the bottom of the night..."

anne frasier said...

wow. wonderful, natalie.
i LOVED this:

but Opal simply couldn’t stand the idea of another well-meaning drunk with hairy arms. She was through with men. Her father used to beat her. Her mother grew fairy wings and fluttered away into the night, and did not leave a forwarding address.

fantastic ending.

thanks!

fringes said...

To choose a favorite line, I would have to copy almost the whole story. Very nice. Great visuals.

Jim said...

I liked the fairy wings part, as well. The whole piece had a kind of music to it.

Joni said...

The only part I didn't believe was the part about not being a poet. :)

So much said in so few words. Beautiful. A favorite.

nicholas abbot said...

That was beautiful.

Natalia said...

Thanks, guys! And thanks to Jason for a wonderful contest. I'm glad I stumbled on it via a friend of a friend of a friend. :)

klgilbert said...

Natalie, this was such a good literary piece of writing. Intelligently thought out and written. I could read this again and again.

Robert Ball said...

Very lyrical. I especially like: " She made a good widow, despite her fondness for the color white."

angel said...

oh i LOVED that!

anne said...

So very lovely. Such a beautiful tribute.

Tami said...

Beautifully written! Loved it.

Bhaswati said...

The voice has such dignity and charm to it, you cannot help but listen to what it says. Very well written, Natalia. :)

Chemical Billy said...

Lovely. I have to chime in on the "well-meaning drunk with hairy arms." Nicely done.

jason evans said...

Such an amazing character study. I was transfixed. If I were you, I'd build this out into a novel character. Really! Good marks overall.