He sits at the table.
He says a word his mouth is familiar with.
He is teaching me his language.
I watch as he forms the syllables.
I tell him to repeat it.
I just want to watch him say it.
His mouth is elegant.
His tongue a dancer.
The word is beautiful on his lips.
He smiles at me and says the word again.
Tells me to say it now.
My mouth is not as elegant as his.
My tongue is not as limber.
I say the word.
Vowels cut short as my lips try to force the old way,
as tongue tries to be less lazy.
He tells me I am doing well.
He tells me it is perfect.
I know it is a lie.
I know it is the truth.
He stops the lesson a moment.
Tells me he has a gift for me.
He tells me he hopes I like it.
He shows me the little box.
Bow wrapped around it.
I stare at it, sitting in his palm patiently waiting.
His green eyes sparkle with anticipation.
My hands tremble.
I reach out and pull the tails of the bow.
It unravels and falls across his hand.
I open the box.
Shining silver earrings greet me.
They remind me of wings and feathers.
They make me think of owls and eagles.
Knowledge and freedom.
I tell him they are beautiful.
He says that beautiful women should have beautiful things.
I think that I am not beautiful.
I think I am undeserving.
I say nothing.
I put the silver threads in my ears.
They swing and sway, tickling my neck.
Feathery kisses.
I tell him thank you.
I tell him he shouldn’t have.
He gives me a smile.
He puts the box and ribbon away.
He says another new word in his languge.
Our lesson starts again.
I repeat the new word.
Syllables clumsy in my mouth.
I wonder if he knows the truth of the gifts he has given me.
The language of hope.
The wings of redemption.
Creative Commons License
Gifts by Idgie Stark is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Author: idgiestark

Writer of things.

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