Woman on Fire

Woman on Fire

Another suicide? How could that be?

A funeral to prepare, a grave to find, clothes for her to wear in the casket. Burying my child.

I cannot cry. I cannot show weakness. I must carry on. See, I can do it.
Jesus asks: What happened? I say: I don’t know.

I couldn’t help her. I couldn’t stop her.
She jumped: I must keep it together. Balancing act.
My head is in flames, sorrow bursting forth while I balance on the precipice.

I am a woman on fire.

November 2014: When I got back from the Pendle Hill retreat in August, my daughter was still alive. I eagerly experimented with collage techniques, and I took an old painting and covered it with torn paper and Mod Podge. After Diane died, I added a standing woman, her skin made of tissue paper, tiny snips of fabric for her dress, and threads from an old blanket for her hair. I cut up an old tie-dyed shirt and added squiggles above her head. I really got into it when I realized that now her head was on fire. How fitting. Holding it all together while my head bursts with rage.

“Woman on Fire” by Marie Temple, November 2014

Paper, fabric, Mod Podge on canvas

Photo by Lois Trusler

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