Saturday, November 29, 2014

Coming of Age With a Red Umbrella

This week's Flash Fiction prompt was stunningly beautiful, and that red umbrella held so many possibilities. The most difficult part of the assignment was picking which direction I wanted to take the prompt. Below is the pic, and my task was to include something about coming of age. Scroll down to see my measly attempts:


Beautiful, isn't it?

Here's attempt number one:

Shaded

They are coming, they are coming,
The things that pass us by.
The choices and decisions
That made my parents cry.


Now the cards are mine to deal,
Mine to shape and mold,
And nothing in this great wide sea,
Can cause me now to fold.


I cowered ‘neath the umbrella
Of my parents careful shade,
Terrified lest I should feel
The rain on my parade.


How many times they told me,
“Girl, it’s not a simple task.
Life’s not a platter with a cake,
And all you do is ask.


“It’s working hard and dancing well,
And living day to day,
And when the sun sets at the end,
You must be on your way.


“Be honest, humble, kind and sweet,
Let all your heart shine through.
And when we’re gone, you just may find
You’ll shade others, too.”


 *****
It's one of my rare, rhyming, rhythmic attempts at poetry, but I liked how the message played out in it.
Take number two is a bit darker, in which I feature a victim of abuse, and her escape to freedom:

 
Goodbyes

You grasp his hand, turning it palm-up, tracing your fingers over the lines that map the last eighteen years. It hurts, you know?

The bruises those hands have caused, blue fingerprints against soft flesh.
The pain those hands have inflicted, hard yanks behind drawn shades.
The screams those hands have smothered, molded iron against terrified lips.


You don’t say anything; you don’t have to. He would know, in the silence, what you would have said yesterday. 

Yesterday, when you packed your bags.
Yesterday, when you still feared death.
Yesterday, when the state viewed you as a child.


Today, you grasp his hand, the final goodbye, close his staring eyes, and march your way out of his room to the open door. The rain spatters across the steps, a thousand fountains of silver.

You square your shoulders, open your umbrella, and face the ocean of possibilities.

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