I Will Shrink 2 795

Nobody knows quite how it started.  They blame the modern man.  They think it’s all due to some uniquely twenty-first-century notion of entitlement, that man can take what they want and there be no consequences.

It is not a modern problem.

They were surprised to find me shrunk, when they finally noticed.  They came with tape measures and clipboards and studied and noted and hummed and hahhed and said that yes, I was definitely smaller.  Something had happened and I had begun to shrink right before their eyes.  At first they were puzzled.  Then the scouts, the concerned parties, the wanderers, they began to report.  They had seen them.

They thought they had it worked out.

The men come, wearing shorts and socks and sandals.  They bring big rucksacks full of gadgets, cameras slung around their necks.  They spend an age staring at me through their lens, finding my every angle.  No part of me can hide anymore.  Then they bring it out.  Their tool.  Their weapon.  Little hammers, screwdrivers, knives, smaller rocks.  They bash and dig and pry and cut and pull until a piece of me falls into their hands or at their feet.  They hold it, they take pictures with it, they tuck it away in their pockets for safe keeping, for bragging rights while my new, gaping wound is open to the world.  Sometimes they stroke the gash, pressing their fingers into the newly exposed flesh and marvel at how much cleaner it looks, how much more innocent it is.

That will soon pass.

They blame it on the modern man, my rapidly shrinking size, but they are wrong.  I have been shrinking my whole life.  Ever since I was cut from my home, since a man came and took me, dragged me, pulled me, pushed me, here.  For his purpose.  Ever since man began to worship on me, to climb on me, to run his hands over my body and take away with him dust that is a part of me but which he will just brush off as nothing.

I have been shrinking since man first discovered they could make me.

I will shrink away.  I will shrivel until I am but a spot on the ground for some man to pick up.  To use to split a sister rock, to skim across the surface of a pond that without him would be tranquil, to take home and show off as a trophy of the conquest of his land.  I will be chipped away until there is nothing left for him to see and he will lament his loss.

His loss.

I will shrink.

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F. R. Kesby is a poet and storyteller from Leeds, England. She studies language and literature, teaches English as a foreign language as well as writing (and ranting) about feminism, LGBTQ+ issues, her life as a disabled person and, of course, Doctor Who. You can find more of her writing on Spoons and Toons.

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