Today’s writing prompt at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie is recovery. While this piece isn’t about recovery, it’s somewhere in the ballpark.

She’s sick. Her nose starts to run

and bleed. Crackling leaves

fall out of the trees and spread

a carpet of scratchy brown

over her world. She hugs and rocks

herself; staring down at a street


that mocks her. A battered street

sign wobbles, ignored. Cars run

through it and punkls throw rocks

in its face. The sight leaves her numb: she is like the brown

dented sign. The paranoia begins to spread.


Flinching beneath her bed spread,

she tries to forget about her street

life; but a trembling finger traces the brown

stain on her pillow. Her senses run

wild: she hears the scrape of leaves

outside, and swears they are sharding rocks


into powder. Salivating, she rocks

hard and shivers, tasting the spread

of howling madness. She feels the dead leaves

scrawling her name on the street.

Her best pair of stockings have a run

in each leg, but her five inch brown


stilettos are brand new. Her brown,

shiny hair swirls at her waist. And she rocks

across the asphalt knowing the run

in her stocking will spread

up her thighs with each strut. Street

life agrees with her tonight. Damp leaves


cling to one spiked heel as she leaves

her corner with some john in a brown

Chrysler. An hour later the street

is forgotten as she shaves sparkling rocks

into lines of powder. The euphoric spread

whispers–daring her imagination to run


beyond itself; run shrieking through wild leaves

burning with psychosis. With arms spread like brown

broken branches, she soars to the rocks in the street.





Susan Marie Shuman/ Susan Writes Precise

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