â€śLeave something for someone but don’t leave someone for something.â€ť -Enid Blyton
My mother’s most beloved trick: take a simple orange,
turn it into pure sorrow. She did this in the manner
of a spell, a story (the same story over, over). The dark
handkerchief of her words whisked away and prestoâ€”
the thirties, a girl whose teeth vibrated with ache, whoÂ
walked barefoot in snow or may as well have, soles
that tenuous. Who received in her Christmas sock
each year, only one orange. The story began hereâ€”
with her hand rolling its cool pebbled flesh across her cheek
in that farmhouse so bitter she could see her breath.
With her inhaling its sweet citrus rodeo, sketching it
with her last stubby crayon, for posterity. Telling her diary
about the sunny supple star from which it travelled.
Positioning her thumb in its softest point then stopping
to pray for strength to resist. Truth is, this was a girl’s story
more than a saga of peasants rising, stoic,
from their hungers. After all, consider the inner world
of the orangeâ€”labial, lush, lost,
utterly lost at the first fissure in its pulpy stockade.Â
More fallen, even, than the common apple. All this
happened prior to me, making me the sequel
to the orange storyâ€”for what loveliness is notÂ
torn open, in the end? So I arrived, the sad
document of a woman’s defeat.
-Â Jeanette Lynes, The Inner World of the Orange
“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.