Tag Archives: Growing up

going up the hill to the house, we

 

going up the hill to the house, we
saw flowers that she loved, and picked them
black eyed susans, sweet williams, daisies, columbine.
we gripped them in our plump warm hands.
by the time we made it, panting,
having stopped for toads and all the small things,
we presented them to her half-wilted.
“ragweed gives me allergies” she would say, plucking one of them out.
the rest would go in a vase of honor on the kitchen table
a small token of each others’ love.

going down the hill to the creek, we
see flowers that she loved, and pluck them
dandelions, sweet williams, violets, asters.
at the bottom trickles clear water
over mossy gray rocks
and we tip her ashes in.
they are white
like her hair
pure white
like her devotion
white like the sugar in her blood
white
like the angels she adored.
they swirl the water opaque
atop it we scatter the flowers
a painter’s palette of Missouri colors
blackberry, butter yellow, sap green, slate.

the sandy ashes sink.
it takes a full hour for them to wisp away
grain by grain into the gentle landscape.
we’re used to waiting for her.
no matter how we tried to rush,
she always did move slowly,
tasting her fine wine time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, a little girl noticed a blue glow under the stairs leading up to her bedroom. She peeked behind the things there and found a confused blue fairy.

“What is wrong, little fairy?” the girl said.

“I was abandoned,” the fairy replied.

“Well, you can live under my stairs if you like. But I’d rather you stay in my room with me.”

The fairy followed the girl upstairs to her room.  She gasped. “What a beautiful room!”

The room was full of fun things. Christmas lights, glow in the dark stars, hand-drawn pictures of fantastic animals, a pink four poster bed.

“Come and play with me,” the girl said.

And so the fairy lived with the girl for a long time. The girl would bring her pieces of cake and cookies and thimbles of cream from the kitchen. She gave her drawings and told her stories. It doesn’t take much to keep a fairy.

As the girl grew up, she spent less time in her room, less time with the fairy, more time with friends and boys. She took down many of her old drawings.

“Oh, not that one,” the fairy would say.

“But it’s terribly drawn, that nose is ridiculous,” the girl would respond, and remove it anyway.

One day the girl came home and said, “I got accepted into college!”

“Ah,” said the fairy. “I’m going to have to find a new place to stay.”

But the girl didn’t hear her. She often didn’t hear her these days.

The girl went off to college. She learned a great many things. She fought with her boyfriend, she got drunk every weekend, she examined all the things that were wrong with the world, she cried over her exams, gained weight, lost weight. Sometimes when she was homesick she thought of her little fairy friend, but soon was distracted by all the strange new things she was seeing and learning.

When she next came home to visit her family, she stayed in her old room. She took down all the childish things and cleaned up. She never even noticed the fairy was missing.

The girl, a woman now, graduated, got a job, lived her life. She married and had a daughter. She struggled to teach her right from wrong, while still succeeding in her job and saving enough money for the future.

The grandmother grew feeble and came to live with them. The old woman moved slowly. Sometimes she would make cookies. Sometimes she would sit on the porch and watch the sun set. When the woman worried too much, the grandmother always told her, “time will take care of things, my child.”

The grandmother adored her grandchild. She would sit quietly with her and watch her play.

One day the woman listened outside her daughter’s room, curious what her daughter and the grandmother talked about.

“That’s a wonderful animal you drew. Shall we hang it up?”

“Grandmother, I met a fairy today.”

“A fairy? Really? Can I see her?”

“She says you might, if she shines real hard.”

“Ah,” the old woman said. “What a lovely blue light. Your mother had a fairy once, when she was a girl.”

Hearing them talk, the woman remembered what it felt like to have a fairy. She stepped into the room and looked around, but there was nothing.

“Don’t worry,” the grandmother said to her. “If you really want to, you’ll be able to see them again. Time will take care of it, my child. Time always takes care of it.”