What Pegman Saw : In the arms of Crooked Woman

We left Papa under the tree the old people call Crooked Woman – wrapped in palm leaves, bound with strips of knotted cloth.

The night before I’d shifted rocks from beneath the tree, made space enough for his slight form to lie. I sang as I hefted boulders, old songs Papa taught me when we set nets in the river, as we climbed fig trees, gripping bark with knotted toes, stowing plump fruit in our bags.

I set a basket of best black figs and a comb of honey at his feet. The honey dripped into the dull water as the river rose, as waves licked the rocks and kissed the sands. His body held tight to Crooked Woman for a while, a child reluctant to take his first step.

The river took him at sunset, as the water turned gold as honey, as we sang a last goodbye.


Written for What Pegman Saw, the prompt that uses Google Streetview. See here to share, to read and comment.



38 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw : In the arms of Crooked Woman

  1. What a wonderfully woven tale of a beautiful death ritual. Such a serene way to send a loved one off into the next life..


      1. Yes, true Dale. I watched a science documentary once that said we’re made of the atoms that were present at (or at least just after) the Big Bang. That we are, indeed made of star dust. And that thought, of us all never really leaving the world, of us just going into making a new apple tree or rose bush or hedgehog stuck with me and gave me a strange comfort. It’s reincarnation, Dr Who’s regeneration at a cellular level – and a lovely thing


      2. Exactly. I’m also for burying in a burlap sack and becoming “food” for the earth, the trees the plants… his horrible wasting of wood to make a box to bury… ridiculous. And if cremation is the way, then let the ashes fly free (we’re not allowed to spread the ashes but I did anyway!)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. A sweet ritual, and sweetly presented as well. I’m fascinated by death rituals, and yet this one added some touches I hadn’t heard before: nicely done!


    1. I confess, I made the lot up. Though perhaps I had sacred rivers such as the Ganges in the back of my head. People’s ashes are deposited there, though it does make the water awfully polluted. It made sense to me that people who lived by and relied on the river would want to join it in death. Thanks Joy – so glad you liked the story

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That sounds such a relaxed ritual. We read of boat burials. and setting adrift on a raft. But to set the body close to the water, and allow the water to take. I do like that.


  4. So imaginative Lynn! I’ve been trying shorter pieces like yours too, around 200 words. You really have it down to a science, but it remains fresh and interesting each time – tricky. Read you’re ‘cabin buddies’ with Joy Pixley for this month! How cool…what a great, virtual writer-roommate you’d make. Heck, I feel we already are! πŸ™‚ Cheers, Bill


    1. Thank you Bill. I’ve not been around much and not been reading many other blogs, so apologies for that. And you’re right – a virtual writer room is ours already πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. And FYI, I often read your posts but can’t comment well on my phone…the text comes out white and I can’t quite tell if I’m spelling it right! So now you know…


  6. A beautiful burial if ever their was. The memories as she prepared the space, physically, and in the heart, is just sooo lovely. Thank you, Lynn. I am reading this after returning from a rather saaaaad funeral. Long story, Which cannot be shared here.


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