Peas in a Pod

phillipines dvorafreedman

Photo: Dvora Freedman

 

Like peas in a pod

They await

The day’s show.

Friends in flowers

And costumes

They’re alike

Yet I know,

Their hearts sing

Unique songs

I would like

To hear so!

 

 

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Pairs

 

Singular Row

Row AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

In a row they

Were planted

Born from seed

To grow

Along.

Individual

They heightened,

Each one as

Singular

As a song.

 

For the Weekly Photo Challenge: Rows

 

Alike, Not The Same

Red3 AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

We all want to be cherished,

To be known by our name.

But like flowers in meadows,

We’re alike, not the same.

It does not do to lump us

Identical, in one frame.

For like leaves of a tree,

We’re alike, not the same.

Varied hopes, many wishes,

Different dreams of acclaim.

Like the shells on a shore,

We’re alike, not the same.

Each of us has the power,

To bring hope or bring shame.

Pick just one of us too early,

And the world’s never the same.

 

 

For The Daily Post

Definite Identity

Berlin streetart3 InbarAsif

Photo: Inbar Asif

 

“The fact of being

Who or what

A person

Or thing

Is.”

A name.

A self.

A singularity.

A distinct

Individuality.

A recognition of

An original

Personality.

 

(Poem inspired by the Oxford Dictionary)

 

For The Daily Post

It’s Pretty To ME!

She wanted three pig tails. One in a braid. On that side.

She chose a pink and burgundy polka dot ankle sock for one foot; a striped brown and green crew sock for the other.

She pulled on sparkly silver leggings and an oversized, over-loved tan shirt from her brother’s cast offs. Cracked number 4 on the back. Dinosaur eating a basketball on the front.

Added several rows of plastic New Orleans beads, a pasta necklace, an Elsa pendant, and an ivory fuzzy crop shrug “to not be cold.”

Blue loafers.

A bracelet.

Unfolded that crew sock.

Twirled in front of the mirror.

Caught her mother’s horrified look in the reflection. Mom in solid pastels and tidy gold necklace, pressed slacks blending into same-colored oxfords.

“What!?” She placed one hand in protestation on an expertly side-jutted hip. “It’s pretty to ME!”

 

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Image from: Lovethispic.com

 

For The Daily Post

 

Human Archipelago

kornati archipelago croatia-banner

We are not meant to be an island, but an archipelago …

Connected to each other by crisscross of flows and frequent boat trips,

Birds raising young on all our shores

Turtles rushing to the surf as we shelter soft eggs in the sand.

We are not meant to be an island, but an archipelago …

Close and yet not meshed together

Siblings born of planetary upheaval

that created life

And land.

We are not meant to be an island, but an archipelago …

Each unique yet wholly intertwined

Into an ecosystem of together

Sharing horizons, water, rainbows, rain-tears, storms

Exchanging endless sand.

mergui_archipelago_cruise

Will she calm down when she grows up?

She always comes in style. 

Her own, that is: purple tutu over jeans and boots, flowered shirt under star-splattered sweater and deliberately mismatched socks, frilly short-sleeve shirts over chunky turtlenecks, her satiny pajamas with princesses on them, or a sheer dress under a sweatshirt along with leggings with holes in the knee.

Added to her ensembles are usually clues to the day she’d had: color splatter from finger painting at school, well placed smudges from lunch (shirts are so much more convenient than napkins!), crusted bits around her mouth that she refuses to wash off, unidentified grime, tears in filmy clothes that were not sewn with monkey-bars in mind.

It drives her mama nuts. Always impeccably put together herself, the mother is forever trying to wipe this or straighten that or offer alternate dressing solutions (that are summarily declined), and cannot contain her sighs and growing despair at her daughter’s flighty attitude toward cleanliness and matched-everything.

The girl? She could not care less. Or rather, she cares plenty, in her own way. Her language delay does not allow much expression of verbal subtlety (yet), but she certainly shows affinity to collating varied fabrics and textures and to weaving together combinations that feel artistically deliberate in an offhanded sort of way. She likes the way she looks. To me, this is more than good enough.

“Let her be,” I tell the mom one day when the little gal excuses herself to the bathroom and the mother follows her daughter’s mismatched wear with agonized eyes. I am admittedly somewhat amused at the perceived gulf between them, which in fact says a lot more about their similarities than differences. They are both acutely interested in how they look. It is just the “how” that may seem different … One immaculately coordinated harmoniously to appease the eye; the other explosively expressive in riotous combinations that cannot go unnoticed for their mishmash.

“It may not be how you’d choose to dress her,” I press, knowing that this little gal’s fashion-sense is pushing her mother well outside her comfort zone, “but there’s beauty in her freedom. She’s four, and she’s got a keen sense of her own being. I think it’s brilliant.”

The mother looks pained but nods in resignation. She understands, even if she does not quite love knowing it. After all, she does let her only daughter leave the house “all messy” and “in awful combinations,” and she generally suffers the seemingly incongruous pairing of the pretty clothes she buys for her not-so-cooperative princess. Ever hopeful, she fills the child’s closet with beautifully matching outfits that the girl turns into wild-combos in a blink of an eye: chunky socks with her patent leather or frilly tights under short jeans.

“I want her to be her own little person,” the mom whispers. “I just wish she was a bit less … how shall I say it … visible about it …”  She blushes then, fussing with the satin hem of her tailored dress with carefully manicured fingers. “Do you think she’ll calm down when she grows up?” she adds, hesitating, vulnerable.

I smile. “I don’t know,” I answer gently. “What would ‘calming down’ mean to you? Or for her? Who would she ‘calm down’ for?”

The water flushes in the bathroom and the little girl can be heard singing “fly me to the moon” at the top of her lungs as she washes her hands (splashing all around the sink, I am quite sure–she finds special pleasure in the way water droplets spatter and in how soap foam squirts between fingers). The mother looks up and we both grin. Such effervescent joy is contagious.

“She’s a free spirit,” she sighs. “I think I was a bit like her, at her age. Then I got too concerned with what others thought … and maybe lost the spark.”

As the little girl prances back to us, she swirls the edges of the tutu peeking under the shirttails of her button-down flannel over holey jeans. She has one brown sock, one purple with blue polka dots. Her tennis shoes have stickers and possibly some grape jelly on them. She’s radiating ease and unfettered delight.

“Maybe there’s nothing to calm down,” I offer. The girl’s a sight, for sure. A balm for sore eyes and achy hearts, too.

Mom takes a deep breath. Nods. She’s working on it. It is all one can truly ask …

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