I’d like to finish the story of me. I had no chance to end it right the first time. The sky was black, sounds were black, my footfalls whispered through fields birthed of blackness.
I began my story running through pasturelands waving silver and gold with wheat and grains, arms out wide, feeling the wind and the lift. I’d find a hidden away spot, flatten down the grasses to cushion my recline, then tuck my hands under my curly mop, scanning the wild blue. I’d follow the path of the geese both coming and going, feeling the glide of their wings in flight. I’d flit with the hummingbirds come summertime, even hover with the bumblebees around the clover.
I invented flying machines built of broken yardsticks and Mother’s old sheets, leaping spread eagle from the smokehouse roof. A painful but encouraging proposition. The first time she forgave me the cutting into her good ones, saved for company, the second set I borrowed she only gave me a passing scolding as they were the ones cushioning the bottom of the dog’s bed. She made it abundantly clear the last set, the oldest of the bunch and covered in faded blue and yellow flowers given to her by long dead great aunt, this would be the last.
Mother does not lie.
And when those went to shreds, threadbare and scissored to oblivion, she only glared, eyes clear I was not to ask.
Mother does not change her mind when it comes to her sheets.
Which led me to lengths of waxed paper.
Which led to even more skinned knees, a continually bruised ego, but enlarged determination.
So you can clearly understand, when the whoop-di-do flying acrobatic pilots came to our stretch of the grand prairie, I was first on hand. Barely containing myself, I’d watch, mesmerized for hours, feeling the wind and tilting at the whirls and spins and stark dives. Mother’d send cousins after me come twilight. They’d like as not find me chatting up the mechanics, or climbing atop the wings when they the fellows’d give me the go ahead, or when they weren’t looking.
I’d found my wings.
My name is Amelia, and all I ever wanted to do was fly.