Emily Dickinson Comes Back

I heard a fly buzz when I died.

It was still buzzing, flinging its tiny blue self against the cold window, when I came back the next day.

That strange and corruptive germ that had been robbing Death of his rightful charges had gripped me. I could feel no pulse at my throat, no beating heart within my breast. My bosom lay in a vest of snow. The Earth pulled at me, urged me downward, but still I stood on stumbling feet and walked, a meek member of the resurrection.

How many times my low feet staggered. Slippered toes dragged the floorboards with each delayed step. My head lolled to one side, then the other, as if to deny this life after death, this death after life. A hunger bloomed within me.

The fly buzzed on. I opened my frosted eyes. Someone was humming “The Yellow Rose of Texas.”

God gave a loaf to every bird, but just a crumb to me. I had never known such need. I slouched toward the music, slowly dragging my leaden limbs, and opened my mouth to call out, but no words came.

Then, the humming stopped.

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