Friday, 4 April 2014

Little Red

For Mycah, because I miss you.
Once upon a November morning, there was a little girl who walked through the woods.

She had on her shiny black shoes that Mother polished. She had a black ribbon on her hair that Mother tied with two square knots, one to bind and one to lock. She had a clean white apron that Mother bleached in the sun yesterday.

Pretty little girl she was, with dark round curls and a sweet, sweet smile. She walked through the woods, and she shivered in the dress and cloak that Mother sewed that summer: to warm her precious daughter's back, keep the chill from her bones when winter came. She carried a basket that Mother wove, to bear all the sweet things her daughter could ever want.

Little feet walked over dried leaves, over cold streams, one little foot in front of the other, one little foot in front of the other in a pace that was like the tick tock of the grandfather clock that Mother loved. And then stopped. Stop.

Stopped, the little girl did and she knelt on the ground that she found to be soft. Soft warm earth while the ground should be frozen. She took out a silver spoon from her apron's pocket and began to dig a hole in the soft soft ground. Dark like the chocolate cake that Mother baked this morning. Little hands moved to the beat of an unseen drummer.

Dum dum dum dum.
Dig big dig deep dig big dig deep.

And the chanting grew louder in the little girl's head. In the little girl's head with dark round curls...and a sweet, sweet smile.

Stopped, the little girl did and laid down the silver spoon beside the basket that Mother wove. Sweet things in this basket, only the sweetest things in the world. She opened the lid and took a piece of the chocolate cake that Mother made that morning.

Into the hole it went.

She took a flower that Mother saved from the frost.

Into the hole it went.

She took Mother out of the basket, with the same dark round curls on her head.

Into the hole it went after a little goodbye kiss on Mother's cold cheek.

 As published in the 2010 Banaag Diwa of Ateneo de Davao University. 

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