"The Farmer's Wife" (Joan Miró, 1923)
She has been dragging that carcass to and from the marketplace for weeks now. No one knows what it used to be, or whether it was indeed a living thing at one time. She holds it up mutely with one hand, extending the other hand for.... what? Payment? Barter? Consolation?
The thing, oddly, never seems to rot. That would support the theory of those who believe it is a construct rather than a corpse. Her cat, which always accompanies her, pays it no mind. The feline sits on the ground beside her, occasionally yawning, occasionally grooming itself, never looking at its owner's enigmatic burden.
She has become a fixture at the marketplace. People whisper, "There's the crazy lady with her relic again," but when she leaves, they go silent as if something suddenly went missing from the scene -- something that was important for no discernible reason.
When she gets home, she places the perhaps-carcass on the kitchen table and stares at it for hours, until the cat falls asleep. Does she sleep? Does the carcass come alive in her dreams and take the shape of a mythical beast for her to ride?
No one in the marketplace speaks about these things; no one wonders about them. They only know that the world would change irrevocably without her presence.
-- Jill Sophia 04/30/2013