She wanted a diacritical mark on her forehead. Something to set her apart. Not in a lightning-bolt, something-dreadful-happened-to-me-as-a-child-and-now-I’m-cursed (or blessed?) sort of way. An umlaut, perhaps, or an aigu or grave. Some mark to keep her from getting lost in the thicket of talk, to show where emphasis resides. Something stochastic, ekphrastic, lingua-fantastic—some barking mark a listener could discern, distinguish, know—that varies with a conversation’s weather. A signpost to visibly map her moods, to show the world she’s listening to whatever random, perchance profound, perchance unlikely, words are being said. Something to say “right!”—attention paid; the right note struck, and resounding.
—Published previously in Kathleen Flenniken’s The Far Field
(21 April 2013), and reprinted here with Jeanne Yeasting’s permission from
Noisy Water: Poetry From Whatcom County, an anthology edited by Luther Allen
and J. I. Kleinberg (Other Mind Press, 2015)
A writer and a visual artist, J. Yeasting is an admirer of life’s absurdities and the extraordinariness of the ordinary. She lives and teaches in Bellingham, Washington. Her work can be found in numerous places, including Puerto del Sol and the recent anthology, Last Call. She has never met a writing prompt she didn’t like.