Thursday, October 9, 2014

A [somewhat long] snippet

The one thing about our house that had any worth was our garden. When my mother was alive she was famous for her garden. People would say, ‘Her husband not worth a shilling, but the most beautiful garden in the the country’. Mama loved her garden. It was filled with hundreds of types of flowers. Daffodils, tulips, begonias, peonies, pinks and poppies, lilacs and violets, marigolds, periwinkles, mums, lilies and daisies, all culminating in two huge magnolia trees that leaned over a stone bench like tender mothers with a favorite child. It was a favorite hidden spot of many a couple. Mama always favored lovers. All the flowers of the different seasons were interspersed among each other so no matter what month it was, that part of the garden would be in bloom. There was a large amount of holly, mistletoe, and burning bush, so even in the cold winter months there would be spots of color in the garden.
But the most beautiful of all were the roses. There were yellow roses, white roses, sunset-pink roses, tomato-red roses, golden-orange roses, and pink-garnet-colored roses, every one curvaceous, tender, delicate, with waxy petals soft and perfect as a lambskin. People from around the countryside would come to buy Mama’s roses: bride upon bride wanted white ones for their bouquets, widower upon widower wanted red ones for funerals, and mother upon mother wanted pink ones for christenings. Mama was generous with her roses. If two young people from the village who would soon be joined in matrimony had no money, Mama would give them her roses as a gift. But she always said she had to be generous to her garden, too. “I can’t strip the garden dry no matter how much I would be paid,” she told my father again and again. It was my mother’s flowers that kept us alive after she was dead.


My father always collected the money we’d made during the week on Fridays. Throughout the week we would take some out of our meager earnings for our meals, but we learned not to take out too much, because if we hadn’t earned enough Father would announce that something had to be sold.
“Let’s take a look,” he’d say.
“No, Father! Please not Marigold!” I cried.
“Well, it’s an expensive doll and if you can’t bring enough income we have to supplement it some other way.”
“Father, no!” I probably stamped my foot and started crying, but he took the doll anyway. It was not the first time my father sold our things to quench his thirst, nor the last. And so my sisters and I would stay in the streets until dusk, selling our flowers to any who’d buy. If we didn’t make enough we knew we’d have to eat a meager lunch – a few sweet rolls split between us, small portions for twelve girls. Times like that, as we spent the rest of the day standing hungry in our different streets, I’d wish I could feel my mother’s strong embrace again, and I’d tell myself I’d be satisfied with just a moment spent with her, but I knew it wasn’t true. I would not be happy with her being home for a minute. I wanted her back always. It was days like that I wished that we could sell on the same streets, because I desperately wanted to cry on my sister Magnolia’s shoulder.

-Excerpt from The Girls Who Are Not Princesses Who Dance Every Night Starting From A Certain Night And Who Sell Flowers

P.S. That's not the real title.
 photo awdursignature_zps319c67b7.png

1 comment:

  1. Wow. That's just about all I can say. Wow.


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