Category: Leah Holbrook Sackett

The Unanswered Invocation of Women

Nov 13  |  Leah Holbrook Sackett

I was walking the Egyptian onions and strawberries when the honeysuckle fell. It was real. It was green. It kissed a cloud of dust from the ground under the grind of his chainsaw. I was hushed in the eradication of an invasive species. I pivoted on point. The grating burn and whine of the chainsaw’s song followed me down the path, the noise cutting me to the bone. In the house, I sat at my Underwood perched on the dining room table. All I could type were q’s, the bent g’s of the alphabet. I felt bent and broken just the same under the insect-like buzz of the chainsaw. Each “q” flushed another stroke of anxiety, dampening the roughshod work of the saw.

The noise persisted and twisted into a humming lullaby. It grew into the comfort of malcontent, keeping time, a metronome of lulled dread, the collapse of women was underway. How could man feed the horror of that machine and deliver extermination with the rabid metal teeth to make a massacre of women at man’s choosing? The razing melody of the saw was a testament to what nature could withstand. I was in concert with the falling limbs, then a syncope befell me. I woke in the dark. The room was silent. Nightfall hampered the man’s work, or he was simply done. I was on the floor, and I could not recall getting there. I tried to rise to no avail. I reached out with my arms to raise myself from the floor, but I had no arms. I screamed, but it was pointless. I could feel no presence outside my own. If I could just get my feet underneath me, perhaps I could stand, but I had no legs. I had been reduced, cut-down. I was a thud, a pile of flesh rendered unwanted.

Sheaves of paper had fallen from the table above. Every page was a series of typed q’s, intentional like a prayer. My final act was an attempt to suffocate the noise and ripping nature of the saw, the tool of my destruction. My statement of life was touched with all of those edged, bent marks on so many pages. I had lost limb, but not life, not my voice. Someone had wanted me truncated, but making me immobile did not render me without being. In a sea of q’s, I rested and felt the heavy crown of God’s sub-conscious. My prayers had been heard and went unanswered. Yet, the carnage was not my end; my physical deformities could not send me into nothingness. My soul remained intact, and it issued an everlasting strength despite His neglect. I was a blessing, not a sacrifice. I would not surrender to be a building block in the foundation of His kingdom. I could smell the freshly cut honeysuckle, dying while giving out the aroma of life.