a collection of micro-fiction by Liesl Jobson
([email]jobson [at] freemail [dot] absa [dot] co [dot] za[/email])


At 19, the gold band on my child-thin hand was a ligature binding an artery of joy.

A gangrenous bomb ticked under my skin as the sharp metal chafed my swelling flesh.

Before the surgeon (sterilized in righteousness) removed my finger I visited the jeweler — and smiled as he cut off instead my wedding ring.

[b]After a Fight[/b]

Defeated, I speed read books, thrash through webzines, hum mournfully and dive into debt.

When I’m spent and broke, my conqueror says, “Write”. The echo returns unbidden and involuntary, “Right!”

The words inside pit against the words without: mine against his, ours against theirs.

Something has to give:
Write-right… write-right…

His order is official and the music starts. Rhythm shuffles, the mood shakes loose. Stiff first, forgetful and clumsy, but the boogie begins. Soon, though, we fly and swim, spend and sing.

Left-right… quite right!

We make up, my pen and I.

[b]Garden Goodbye[/b]

I’m coming Gran, I said on the phone.

Don’t worry about me, lad, I’m ready to go.

We went for tea at sumptuous Kirstenbosch, the botanical gardens where my grandparents courted.

Her eyes shone like the diamond brooch she wore on their wedding day. The elegant clasp held a parrot-orange shawl over a white silk blouse and a jade and turquoise skirt.

Her wrinkled lips were painted red and blue-veined fingers fluttered coquettishly through her feathery hair.

In the atrium I said grandpa would have liked the new development.

He does, she said.

We strolled up to a shady bench. She perched with lids half-closed, swaying slowly in the sun.

Don’t worry about me, lad, I’m ready to go.

Her eyes closed, her beak-mouth smiled. A mossie flew off and Gran left too.

[b]Twelve Weeks Prem[/b]

Water, not urine flowed from me and I was mystified. Too late for mother craft classes, too early for birth — we burst open, Gail and I.

Guilt, not champagne flowed over my one-kilo kid caught in a web that breathed, fed and drugged her. I could only watch and sing.

Like the ox that gored the farmer’s wife she fought death — though she was too tiny for my nipple. I waited and knitted doll-sized booties.

Now those horns butt against her vegetables and violin, and I celebrate.

[b]Between Dreams[/b]

In the small hours, the starlit arch of your foot covers the bridge of mine.

Sweet nothings and profound everythings whispered in our sleepless bliss stir slumbering angels who dream-smile as they remember peace on earth.

Listed at Duotrope
Listed with Poets & Writers
CLMP Member
List with Art Deadline
Follow us on MagCloud