The Mute Woman

How to make a daisy crown

How to make a daisy crown

I made daisy crowns and dandelion necklaces.

I climbed trees with my knees scraping bark

to see what was on the other side of my neighbor’s fence

or down the hill, or off in the distance on a sea of treetops.

I drank water from the dog bowl to see if it tasted different.

I tried cat food to see if they liked things the same as me.

I wove elaborate stories, like plays,

that I repeated until I had them memorized

then performed them to blank-faced audiences of dolls.

I became a mosquito scratching relative legs until they sprayed me away.

I watched from my window, every day through winter to see the first robin of Spring.

I dashed wildly, madly through the scented Autumn leaves.

I splashed loudly in puddles

when I didn’t have on rain boots and when I did.

I drove a pedal car up and down the sidewalk in front of my home;

Mine was green, my brother’s blue.

I rode my bike as fast as the wind

skinning the ends from my toes for riding barefoot.

My baby doll became a real child needing care

right down to being walked in a baby buggy, pampered and cuddled.

I sang songs when there were people around

and when there wasn’t.

I wore the brightest clothes I owned with pride

but refused to wiggle my fanny at school for embarrassment’s sake

foregoing the envied bunny tail.

I dreamed of long hair like my favorite Aunts

but my hair was wild, unruly, and never behaved appropriately.

I played race car with the electric socket and a key

learning just how many people I could scare at one time.

I saw my world as beautiful, wondrous, and awe-inspiring.

My memories have not been muted, although faded a bit,

Dog-eared around the edges, notated and rewritten with crayons

reversed into a parking spot reserved for each one.

I take them out and drive them around adult conversations

but they get dismissed as comical fancies

disapproved of as childish rubbish.

But they’re wrong.

My childhood held many terrifying horrors.

I don’t think these wonders I hold in my memories are comical or rubbish.

They represented my soul unfurled like a battle-worn banner

proclaiming my liberty from my aggressive oppressors.

They were a time of exploration, learning, and comprehension.

They were and are my life boiled down to the simple things

that so many struggle toward, but I hold dear to my heart.

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