Holding my wooden basket,
Walking through the apple orchard,
Birds echo their symphony overhead,
Then my ears catch a muffled noise;
The unmistakable cry of a little girl;
I weave through the trees to follow her voice.
I was greeted by pigtails,
A tremoring little body in a sky blue dress.
She looked quite familiar,
A forgotten childhood friend? Well, I digress.
I heard words woven in the hiccups,
Words that formed a story alongside the tears.
I felt the perpetual fear as it lay on her heart,
Pain that’d been hidden away for too many years.
“My mother was a master of manipulation,” she started,
“A twister of truths, the antagonist of my life.
I was a living puppet of many cunning plans,
And it’s because of her memory my soul is in constant strife.
“Have you ever been suffocated by judgment, miss?
For something you can’t be responsible for?
I have tried to understand how it is I am different;
I’m still the same girl as before!”
Cognizant of the ten years in between us,
I thought of the right thing to say.
My mind flooded with my own experience and learned lessons,
But for some reason nothing escaped my lips, so in silence we lay.
But then the liquid diamonds dried on her rosy red cheeks,
And soon the rosy turned to fire;
Her mien blossomed into one of unwavering strength,
“But let me tell you what I’ve learned, miss, what I most desire”.
“I may feel sad sometimes,
But I want you to know that these tears are good in the end.
We need the sad times to be happier about the good ones.
So welcome them in your life; make them your friend.”
“I choose to pick myself up when life shoves me to the dirt
I’ve got to do it because no one else ever will.
I won’t wallow in a past that was never mine to begin with
My passions don’t wait on hold, so I push for them still.”
In awe at the artistry of her speech,
I could only muster one question of mine;
“Why are you here in the apple orchard, my dear?
I’ll take you somewhere safer, and I promise you’ll be fine.”
Her innocuous yet devious grin grabbed my attention,
When I furrowed my eyebrows, she leaned in and chimed,
“Oh, I wish it were that easy, ma’am.
There’s a secret I’ve been wanting to tell, and I think now is a good time.”
“You’ve been thinking an awful lot while I talked.
You thought of how you were in a situation like me,
How you wanted your life to be a testimony, to inspire,
To disprove the stereotype and set me free.”
“This dress I’m wearing?
This was yours ten years ago, was it not?
Do you look back at old pictures of yourself often?
Silly girl, I am you; I’m shocked that you forgot!”
“Don’t you ever forget that you are different;
You are not your mother, so take hold of your great life ahead.
Remember to strive for the moon and the stars,
Determine your own future; sew with your own thread.”
“As for why I’m here,
I don’t think you have to ask me.
There’s this awesome thing you used to say…
Sometimes apples do fall far from the tree.”