Unquiet Soul

She has what they call in the old South an unquiet soul.

“I don’t know who’s winning anymore.”

She says to herself, and on the inside its blood lying like rust in her veins, burbling through her great heart at war with her brain—she says,

“I don’t know who’s fighting anymore.”

“My boys,” she says, “I love them, but god knows its only peace when one of them’s dead or dying. A stroke or a heart attack, that’s how I’ll go. My papa he went like that, died of too much heart. He got it in him that he had to help people and so he signed himself up with the army you see. He went missing far from home swarmed with smoke and the screams of genocide—but you know that’s the only way the devil coulda come for my papa. Too much heart he had. My mama she died of a brain too loud- whirring, screeching, voices whispering—SHOUTING, crazy things… and then one day I guess she got tired of telling ‘em no. They found her at the bottom of a waterfall. I guess she was trying to drown all them voices out.”

“I don’t know why I’m fighting anymore.”

“And then you got me,” she says, “With a brain too loud and a heart too big. I’m all of them at once, baby girl. God only knows where it got me. But I think the two halves of me were so busy trying to kill each other they forgot all about killing me. My dark haired boy, all blood and iron, that one. That’s who lives up here,” she taps her temple, “And my golden summer lad, he’d love you while you put a dagger in his chest. Smile while you pushed it in and twisted it,” She taps her breast, with one last great big breath she smiled and tapped her forehead,

“Ahh, I shoulda guessed it’d be the head that did me in.”


And they called her manic depressive.

G.A. Buba

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