Iconography

   

by Sophie Overett

 

Their grandmother had had cards of patron saints she’d played like tarots. Long-faced men with bodies tall in prayer, eyes like insects. The perfect circle of a halo around their covered heads.

She hadn’t played them at Beth’s funeral, like maybe Lily had thought she would, but rather left them buried in the bowels of her handbag beside her rosaries and pocket Bible.

When Lily asks her, like she would as a girl, to tell her fortune with Saint Barbara and Saint Eugène de Mazenod, their grandmother shakes her head, her large, gold earrings clanking loud and metallic through the church.

No mother should have to bury their daughter,’ is all she says, and Lily glances forwards at where Marla, her grandmother’s daughter, Beth’s mother, her mother, is as tall as the men on those cards, her eyes like wells of careful paint, her halo nowhere to be found.

 

Sophie Overett is an Australian cultural producer and writer of fiction and non-fiction. Her work has been published in print and online at Voiceworks, Regime,Seizure, the Sleepers Almanac No. 9 and more. In 2014, she was the recipient of the Young Writer in Residence fellowship at the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre. She blogs at www.sophieoverett.com.

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