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Vespertis

United States

Strides of Handicapped Wanderlust

March 16, 2015

PROMPT: Walking

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At first, it came with a limp. Then the hill of his thigh seemed to sink into the anemic bioplastic and metal rods that kept the ghost anchored to an absent corpse.

They say the hardest part of someone dying is stockpiling their belongings. Laying out cardboard caskets for patchy sweaters, socks, flat caps, spectacles. Letting belongings drift together to find you like fireflies that go out in ash if you handle them too harshly. But of these are the

shoes

Ask Dorothy and she will tell you they are a testament to home. How curious, that the imprint of soles should cry how souls wandered after so long a time pressed down upon.

Years from now they will creep into attics on nights, caress the indent of their body, for a sense of “here-ness,” for the echoes of “clip-clops” and jive in their heels when they danced.

One day he finds standing alone does not do, for it bores holes into the deepest crevices of your Earth, and like trepanning, you hope perhaps you are closer to a god only to be closer to Yours who have ceased walking, maybe because they are no longer pounding on the pavement, kicking up dust, with all their weight beside you.

Some days he fashion their prayers and un-stepped ground into his crutch. On others he tends to make his own canes, for when he cannot help but water the arthritis in joints that no longer exist. But until the stagger leaves him and his phantoms have gone, and his poles are just another bone for a crippled gypsy, he enjoys the damp cracks in pavement, even if they fly by in the rush of a sprinting tribe. 

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