Maddy Bates

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Marble Springs 2.0 screenshot of Maddy Bates

What we know

1845 - 1895
Worked as a nurse in Boston during the Civil War. Became consumptive from overwork and exposure. Fled west in search of a cure. Didn't find one1. Wanted to write and never did.

Chests of Stone

by Alex Brown

Edna Harris always wondered aloud
whatever could Maddy see on her long days
staring up at the unfinished logs of
the White Owl's enclosed porch.
She can't even sit up to read,
murmured Susannah, scurrying by.

Mostly, Maddy watched the snow
as small flakes broke from the path
and mined the currents of her jerking breath,
bringing up the tailings of her body—
the small nuggets of blood1 that waited
for Doc Nancy to clean.

All that winter, Maddy slept on the open porch,
hoping the cure of cold would transform
the crumbling crystal flakes of her lungs
into some smoothed marble sculpture.
Make me anything, she told God.
But make me whole.





A drawing of a mortar and pestle.
Edna Harris
Hazel Wringle

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