In orchid garden
A speckled glory,
A blushing show
In nature’s awe
And for Cee’s FOTD
They were never meant to be
They were never meant
Or approved of.
They were the anathema
To all some saw as
Or worthy of.
They were cursed
By those of privilege,
Who for added
Then denounced them
By old time’s
And only the peak’s
Tell of years
We’re no ducks but still wish
In a row.
There is no law against it.
Now you know.
“I’ll take you to the place,” she promised.
“The place where you came from?” the boy pressed. “Your before home?”
“If it is still there,” she nodded, her eyes clouding over with something between wistfulness and worry.
She watched his eyelids flutter as he curled onto his side and into sleep. There was much to do and little time for it, and still she couldn’t bring herself to rise from his cot. It wasn’t how she thought it would be. It felt too soon. He didn’t know a thing.
Not that she really had a choice, anyhow.
The place. She wasn’t sure exactly what would happen when they got there, or what it would mean to her or to the boy she was entrusted to protect. What would her protection of him entail now that she’d been discovered?
She gazed at the child. He was hers. At least as far as one could belong to someone else, he was.
Most people thought they could not look more different than each other. Her translucent skin to his ebony, her pale eyes to his endless pools of black, her sprinkling of wispy flaxen hair to his rich dark mane. She’d kept his hair in cornrows for tidiness and practicality, but often enough she coaxed him to let her undo them so his hair rose in a magnificent halo about his head. Her princely lion of a child. They didn’t have such locks where she’d come from. He truly was one of a kind.
“Adopted?” nosier people would ask what many others thought but didn’t dare to verbalize.
“In a way,” she’d respond, knowing full well that the answer raised more questions, yet she refused to lie. For he wasn’t. Adopted. Not in the way they’d think.
He was. Just. Hers. Seeded in her before she even understood what he was or would become.
And they were as alike as any, anyhow, considering where she was really from.
A noise jarred her and she looked up to see a mouse scurry across the cabin floor. It reminded her of other footsteps: dangerous and inevitable and far less welcome.
She got up and as the night deepened she did what had to be done. Finally she secured a small bag to her bike and hoisted the still sleeping child into her lap. She wrapped a strip of sheet around them so he could remain snug against her while she pedaled.
She rode through the woods till morning lit the trees and the birds fleeted ahead of her wheels and small living things skittered into the bushes to avoid her.
They knew, she thought, that she was not of them, and neither was the boy who nestled, oblivious, with a head atop her breast.
There would be no hiding who they were. Not anymore.
The light intensified to shine beyond the sun.
There it was. The place. The bright beam.
She dismounted and her legs shook not from hours of pedaling, but from knowing.
And from failure.
She let herself be found out before he was adult enough to continue. She did not protect him long enough to fulfill the promise he held for their kind.
The ship’s beam wavered and the gears in her heart thudded as the light shimmered sorrow through her skin.
They’ll take only him.
“We’ve come a long way from small children crawling under looms,” the proprietor boomed, arm sweeping proudly across the antique refurbished mill.
The group of portly men nodded sagely.
One of them patted a balding pate, florid face sweating in tailored wool. He was gratified to see another man masking a yawn.
The two-hour Textile Investors Tour satisfied requirements for business expenses, but the real draw of the area was a manicured golf course, good wine cellars, and a particularly discreet hotel concierge.
Too bad, the balding man thought to himself. A few crawling kids would’ve been right fine.
It’s a steep climb
But he feels
This rock face,
He can’t help think,
It’s a very high
And he’s a penguin
But he’ll attempt
And he intends
To not fail!
For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Rock
I am worn,
But not weary.
I’ve weathered many
Filled long lines
With stews and soups of
I’ve seen good times
And not so,
And too loud.
I’ve dried the wet
Off of feet,
The tears off
Eased the sorrow of
I am worn,
But not weary.
Grab a spoon,
Find a bowl,
And take a seat
By my side.
They push up
Through cold ground
Where morning frost
So a new spring
(Not quite this year’s spring photo … yet – this one being from early spring in 2017 – but it nonetheless infuses hope for soon-to-be cousins of these blooms enlivening the park!)
For Terri’s Sunday Stills: Spring
She was impervious to their taunting.
To the words
That meant to hurt
But found no inlet
In what seemed her
She was impervious to others’ love
The doors of her alabaster soul
Had slammed shut
After her spirit had peeked
Only to find more harm
Than she knew she would be able
To endure if she were to
She was impervious to much,
But not to beauty.
She could not give up
And so she lived
Of the world,
And its toll.
original fiction, rhyme and photography
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