markus zusak

This Gentle Thievery

I ran this morning thinking of her.

How I inherited her hands straight down to the knobby knuckles and veiny fingers that swing into view as I set off through the streets.

It kills me sometimes, how people die.

-Markus Zusak; The Book Thief 

In my head I know she had been a fiery force of strong Wagner woman, but in my heart she is always tenderness. I hear her voice in mine sometimes, and every time I do, I wish I could always sound like her. So that every word I spoke could be a channel, deep and steady, to hold all that tenderness. So much of it, she couldn’t ever use it all in one lifetime, so now it’s seeping out of me in the cracks she left behind. slowly. lovely. like the easy ripples in a spring swollen river.

Like the way I talk with her whenever I eat Kraft swiss cheese slices.  Always from the plastic wrapper, standing in front of the open fridge -the way she and I had always done.

It was her birthday a few days ago, September 1st. And like the heaviness of autumn, it always seems to sneak up on me, the way her death did too.  She went away on September 9th.

These September runs of mine are all for her. For these hands I have that aren’t mine. And these stolen syllables, left to speak her tender truth.

She took a step and didn’t want to take any more, but she did.

-again, -Markus Zusak; The Book Thief 

But she did.