In Which Tom Thumb Falls in Love With My Character from “Walls”

Now it just so happened
that a little boy,
the size of a thumb,
known by the name of Tom,
lived quietly in a shrub.

Tom, in the shrub,
lived his life
and knew nothing,
except of which plants were safe
to touch and to eat,
and which ones
were comfortable for sleep.
He knew the color the fruit should be when it was ready,
hanging low on the branches;
he knew how the air smelled,
before the rain came down;
he knew the forest,
And he knew
how to be small.

He was okay with being small,
and new nothing of largeness,
except the clouds hanging from the sky,
and the trees growing from the ground.
He was small,
and he was happy.

Now it just so happened,
as he went to climb
on a low hanging branch,
A woman appeared
on the path ahead.

Tom, the size of a thumb,
saw this woman,
the size of a tree
She was tall,
and fifty times more beautiful,
than any flower he had ever slept upon.

He noted the splashes of color on her skin, mainly around her shoulders and neck,
of deep purples
and red like the berries he picked.
He noted her eyes were like clouds,
in the same way that drops of water
came crashing down.
And he noted that she and the wind
moved like lovers.

Tom,
the size of a thumb,
who never thought of being anything but,
suddenly wanted to be large,
as large as the wind.

Suitcases.

I tie the ribbon foolishly,

and I feel the warmth of my mother behind me

as she grabs my shaking hands.

“Calm yourself, Stella,

I know these times are troubling.”

Her hands guide mine,

up and over,

once around and then through the loop.

We’ve made a perfect bow.

“It looks beautiful,”

I struggle to say.

And it does. The bright purple fabric

contrasts with the deep chestnut

brown of the casket,

and matches the purple flowers

hanging from the sky.

“He would love it,”

I try to comfort my mother.

I know she’s holding it all in,

but sooner or later,

she wont anymore.

As much as I forget it,

my mother is actually human.

We stand there for a minute,

and I take a deep breath

as my eyes scan the room,

with sniffling noses

and rainy cheeks.

I take a deep breath

and breathe in

the delicious fragility of this travesty.

We are all so fragile now.

The canopy overhead blocks the intense sun.

Mother is upset because it’s not suppose to be sunny

on the day of your husband’s funeral,

it’s suppose to rain.

“They say it’s good luck,” she mumbles,

looking up at the cloudless sky,

and I rest my hand on her shoulder,

because really, what else can I do?

I lead her over to a chair, because making her sit down

felt like the right thing to do. I’m actually not very sure

what the right thing to do is anymore.

When someone is taken from us,

they leave with a suitcase

packed with smiles and happiness,

and memories of places

where we still laugh and wish.

He left with all of that, my father,

and one day I suppose we’ll all follow after him.

 

Red.

They painted the earth shades of red:
The color of apples, shining proudly as they grow.
The deep color of wine, swirling in a crystal glass, staining the lips of a young woman.
The color of blood, dripping from the bodies of a hundred men, their bodies laying out in a field, their souls.. Who knows?

But the Earth was now different shades of red, and all of these lives were lost. Mothers lose their titles, a little girl whose father will never tuck her in at night, and a soul mate lost to those who waited and waited for his or her love to come home.

All these lives lost. It seems so terrible. But where there is loss, there is gain.

A nation free. A mother who can beam with pride, for her son was a hero. A little girl who will grow up and tuck her own daughter in one day, and for those who lost their lovers? They are free because of the sacrifices made. They are alive because of love. They can live to tell everyone that these soldiers painted the earth red, the color of their hearts.