Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Window

A young woman looks through me.  Her skin is smooth, her smile bright.  Bubbles float up from the sink as she washes the last of the dishes and stares out at her children racing about the driveway on scooters and skates.  She can hardly wait to join them.  The daily chores and I are the only things that stand between parent and child.  My rail and casing are strong and sure. My glass is clear and bright. I am the window above the kitchen sink that looks out into her world.
A sleepy woman looks through me.  It is dark outside and shadowy trees move in the distance.  Her entire world is under one roof, each child tucked safely in bed.  Nothing in the dark calls to her.  She wakes to check on her children and be certain of the security that wraps around her like a blanket.   My locks are secure.  My framework is strong.   My family rests peacefully until I let the light back in. 
A loving woman looks through me.  She watches the early morning snow falling gently to the ground.  She leans close and her warm breath meets my cold glass, painting it in a ghostly fog.  She smiles and readies herself for a day full of sledding and snowball fights.  That night, she will look through me again and see her children’s art, the snowmen that stand outside glistening in the moonlight.  My view is good and is filled with love.
An older woman looks through me.  She wipes a smudge from my pane and watches for the distant glow of headlights returning young drivers home.  The clock counts the minutes until midnight as she continues to stare through me.  Worry lines have replaced the smoothness of her skin.  My frame has shifted and my blinds are faded in color.  She pulls them taut as she keeps her midnight vigil until all children have returned home.
A lonely woman looks through me.  With hands that are no longer steady she pushes and pulls at my lock.  She is in search of fresh air.  I creak and sigh and give way to the bindings that have secured me in place.  Through my screen comes the smell of Gardenia, filling the room with memories of that which is no more.   Her reflection has faded.  Skin weathered and dry.  Smile subdued.   She watches for her children to return.

A young woman looks through me.  It is a different smile and a different face.  Standing where her mother had stood for so many years, she wipes my pane and secures my lock.  Lights fade and empty rooms echo the sounds of departure.  Both women, young and old, walk hand in hand towards the drive where they will leave together.  In my panes are the reflections of a life well lived.

Written by M. Brodnax
Sep 14, 16
First Assignment, Creative Writing Class

Friday, September 9, 2016

Anyone's Child



Anyone’s child did not like grapes.
It had been a very good day.
The teacher passed out grape suckers to all her students.
Anyone’s child quietly handed his sucker to another child.
The little boy with two suckers smiled.
Anyone’s child smiled.
He knew the joy in sharing.

When school ended, happy children with suckers ran to their parents.
Parents smiled.
A little boy named Chip showed his mom his treat and beamed with pride.
It had been a good day.
Chip’s mom noticed that one child had two suckers.
The day was no longer good.
She tossed Chip on her shoulder and steamed out the door.

She brewed.
She steamed.
She plotted how to right this wrong.
Chip just wanted to enjoy his sucker.
But how was this possible when someone’s child got two.
Words flew like bullets.
Aimed at hurting those who had been unfair.

Chip’s mom called her friends
She called the Bureau of Fair Candy Disbursement
They sent out more words
And more words
All filled with anger over this candy injustice
Teams were formed
Committees gathered
Helicopters came
Dogs circled in patterns searching for candy leads
Someone yelled, “Ban all suckers”

Anyone’s child was unaware of any unfairness
It was his choice not to like grape
He knew the right thing to do when he gave his treat away
Someone’s child enjoyed his sucker and gave his extra one to his sister
They both smiled with grape colored smiles
The act of sharing still filled children with joy.

Chip’s mom cringed when she saw the color purple
It was a painful reminder that her child had been given less
Chip wanted his mom to smile
He handed her the sucker the teacher had given him
She needed a good day

Chip’s mom snatched the sucker and showed the teams
They cried, “Woe!”
They cried, “How?”
They gathered all their words and wrote a letter
The letter was filled with bitterness and one grape sucker

A sign was posted on the school door
"No treats allowed"
No one at the school knew why
No one ever stopped to ask the teacher why one child had more
They never asked the simple question
That would have come with a reasonable answer
Instead, the mom with Chip on her shoulder
Assumed the worst and let hateful words guide her

A good deed was twisted and turned until it was no longer good
Good days would no longer come with treats
When there was a chance someone might share and anyone’s child might get more.
Sharing was frowned on and the children did not know why
They cried, “Woe!”
They cried,  “How?”
Their joy in giving was riddled with doubt
Anyone’s child did not want to get in trouble for sharing
Someone’s child learned that a good deed may not be so good

The teacher sighed
She cried, “Woe!”
She cried, “How?”

She wrote her own letter
It said…
Dear children and parents
There is a basket of grape and cherry suckers on my desk
Take what you want, but no more than you need
To make your day good.

And with that simple act, filled with kind words, fairness was restored.


                                    By M. Brodnax, 2016