Let the River Run
At first, there was one.
She emerged head first, her hair tangled with seaweed. Naked, her bosoms floated on the water as she rose. The curves of her back and hips slid ever so gently, as more and more of her body was revealed. She had nothing on, but her hands gripped a paintbrush, dipped in the darkness of the ocean. With her pale foot, she stepped on soil and walked towards town.
Men laughed at her. They gawked at her nudity, joked about her hair, tried to wrench the brush off of her. For in man’s laws, she had to burned, tortured, raped, mutilated. She had to die for holding a brush to his laws. The men chopped earth’s wood, sawed it into piles of lumber, and erected a massive stake. Fire burned as the clouds inhaled the smoke of men.
Then another one emerged.
A bit plumpier than the first, shorter but brighter hair. As nude as the first, she rose from the waters unto land carrying a pen. The men laughed at her too. “A fattie now!” one exclaimed. Delighted at the prospects of two burnings, they piled more wood unto the stake.
Then a third rose.
A very skinny girl, bald as the day she was born, emerged from the water. Unlike her sisters, she brought nothing, but her feet were wearing a pair of ballet shoes. The men were outraged. “A bald chick?” one asked. More wood was piled.
But a fourth one arose shortly after.
With wavy hair and tanned skin, the tall woman, emerged from the river, naked, but around her neck draped a camera, which could take photos anywhere and under any conditions. Open-armed she walked, and the men hastened to chop more wood.
Then two more ladies came. One had big auburn eyes and held a spatula, the other was flat-chested and carried drafting papers. All the men in the village were mobilized. They abandoned the stake and started calling for arms.
But more and more came.
Nude females with hairblowers, and hammers, and cradles, and shovels, and axes, and lipsticks, and crowns, and stethoscopes. They all came, rising from the river, beautiful and glorious, stepping on land and going to man’s village.
Every man was armed, ready for war against these strange creatures. But everyone was surprised when not a single one of the deities paid them heed. They walked right past man’s village, walked past their militia, their burning stake, their sky-high gates, and in the next town, settled, used their equipments, and birthed a natured life, a spring where water comes out of land to nurture the barren wastelands.
This is the 100 Songs Project, a 100-day writing challenge based on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs. Every day, I write a short poem, prose piece, or play based on, reacting to, rejecting, accepting, or doing something related to one of the songs in the top 100 list.
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