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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

August drips - character studies from Divide by Zero

He left to make sure he wouldn’t turn into his father. He left a lonely fatherless son who might grow up into somebody else instead.

He left because they looked at him and only saw his father. He returned because his small sons needed him. Not his father after all.

He left because she loved the child more than him, spent all her energy somewhere else. He felt ignored and helpless, left her without help.

He left because it wasn’t the path for him, disappointed others but satisfied his dream. Not what he left but what he chose that mattered.

She wept because she felt alone and then she wept because he wouldn’t let her be alone. Sometimes it’s hard to turn back the clock.

She wept because everyone else was okay and everyone got what they wanted out of her except for him, the one she wanted to please.

She wept because they told her right and wrong and she didn’t understand but that’s alright. She passed their message on and then she wept.

She wept because the child won’t grow. She wept because it’s surely wrong to know the child’s alright when everyone cries, the child won’t grow.

He shouts like a thunderstorm tearing down trees in the park. His anger’s a tornado and she sees a spark in him of coming danger.

He whispers like the trickle of a brook, his face an open book where words look on all unconcerned, unworried if they’re noticed or unheard.

He laughs like summer but there’s a hint of sadness in his eyes. One day he’ll choose which grandfather’s past should track into his future.

He watches, oh so quiet and so reluctant to be heard. Like a bird on the windowsill, pecking at glass, he watches. Let him pass.

She talks like boulders rolling in a stream, plums in her mouth, building a curious accent all her own. She wants you to know her.

She chatters about her hopes and fears then buries her nose in her studies then yells to the world about the cat that saved her.

She purrs like a cat, stretches with feline grace, and watches the face of her feline friend to be sure the new boyfriend is true.

She stares at her shoes, doesn’t want to be seen, then complains that no-one cares to notice her. Doesn’t see the contradiction. She’s a teenager.

They cut down trees for fields and planted crops, grew farms and then grew families. The forest left its seedlings behind to watch over them.

They cut down trees for roads and ran the wheels of monsters through their dreams. The forest closed its boughs overhead to keep them warm.

They cut down trees for houses, built their subdivisions, bricks and rocks and stone. Their children ran on paths. The forest’s children waited, all alone.

They fenced the trees but still they watch and rustle warnings, weep sweet rain for passing children’s pain then shed their leaves to comfort them.

She rings her bell and they think her all demanding. No-one understands her cries.  She rings her bell because only one hand’s answering her mind.

She doesn’t speak and they think she must be deaf and doesn’t hear but she’s listening still. She doesn’t speak but she answers them silently.

They offer duty and she asks for love. They offer control; she wants freedom. They offer what they think she needs and no one’s listening.

They offer instruction; she’s seeking peace. They offer noise; she wants silence. They offer to make her the same as everyone else but she’s herself.

A flock’s a strange thing. Not sheep he says. A flock of people with all their different needs who think a priest might have answers.

A customer. She leaps to her feet and puts on the character of a great saleswoman. This is her show and she likes this voice.

They sit on the park bench watching their children and everything’s going well and she’s watching them, she whose child won’t be like everyone else.

Strong, decisive, powerful, that’s him till he sees her again and he wishes perhaps the past had turned out differently. Could she have loved him?

A card for you. A card for me. A bid for you. A rule for me. It goes to game. A hand you see. Bridge-players.

Mommy and Daddy are playing bridge so the children spill their orange juice and build a bridge of leaves for matchbox lorries to cross over.

When the whole community falls apart, someone might need to build a bridge to redeem them. A little child might lead them. Love brings healing.

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