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Friday Prompt: The Moss of His Skin

First, consider the following poem by Anne Sexton.

The Moss of His Skin

Young girls in old Arabia were often buried alive next to their dead fathers, apparently as sacrifice to the goddesses of the tribes...

--Harold Felderman, "Children of the Desert,+ Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Review, Fall 1958.

It was only important
to smile and hold still
to lie down beside him
and to rest awhile,
to be folded up together
as if we were silk,
to sink from the eyes of mother
and not to talk.
The black room took us
like a cave or a mouth
or an indoor belly.
I held my breath
and daddy was there,
his thumbs, his fat skull,
his teeth, his hair growing
like a field or a shawl.
I lay by the moss
of his skin until
it grew strange. My sisters
will never know that I fall
out of myself and pretend
that Allah will not see
how I hold my daddy
like an old stone tree.

from Jessica Helfand's "Anne Sexton's Scrapbook"

Now, using at least ten (but as many as you can) words (good ones, not "the," "of," "an," etc.) from this poem, write a piece [flash fiction] about a daddy and daughter doing something you wouldn't expect a daddy and daughter to do.

<500 wds.


From Randall Brown

Nice­ly done, Annemarie. I espe­cial­ly like the moss col­ored shad­ow and that end­ing with “It’s like she’s still around.” I won­der if that might make a cool title, that final line, and end with “…over tea.” Just a thought, maybe a sil­ly one. I enjoyed read­ing this!

I worked to this prompt once before (prompt­ed by you, then). The result­ing sto­ry was pub­lished in FRiGG: “On the Road to Kirkuk.” 

From Annemarie Bogart

Thanks Randall…It was fun to write as well 🙂

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