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The Old Oak

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She had found her brother. Under that oak tree they had always climbed on hot summer days. He had told her always, “I wish I could fly. Like a bird. You know?”
She never knew what her brother had meant. But she always promised she did.
And, oh, how Mike would laugh at her. “No, Mary, you don’t.”
She remembered the day Mike asked her to pick flowers with him. Climbed off the gnarled branch of that old oak to the fields below, held out his hand to support her down. “I love daisies,” he told her.
“I love dand…dand…”
“Dandelions,” he supplied.
“Mary, those are weeds. No one ever likes weeds.”
“Well, I do,” she defended.
“Good. Someone needs to like weeds.” Silence. “Mary, do you like me?”
“Yep,” she said, her little hands already grabbing the next flower.
“Good. And it’s good about those dandelions, too. Someone needs to like the weeds. You know?”
He laughed. “No, you don’t.”
“But, Mary?” he continued.
She hummed in reply.
“Mary, I really am glad you like the weeds. Really glad. Someone does need to like them. Just make sure you never stop liking them. Okay?”
She hummed in reply.
And he laughed again.
She found Mike. His neck snapped like the stems of the flowers she had picked with him that summer day. His face stretched towards the sun and his arms limp at his sides. His feet hovered inches above the tallest blade of fresh, green grass, above the ground as his face concentrated on the sky.
“I wish I could fly,” he had told her always.

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jlain said...
today at 3:43 pm
This actually brought tears to my eyes. That is so sad but so powerful. You inspire me to write something deep. All of your work is amazing. Thank you so much
lizlaughluv14 said...
Jun. 22, 2011 at 6:42 pm
Wow. That is so truly amazing and touching and heartfelt, and God there's so many words dangling in midair to describe it. Don't ever stop writing. Ever.
Jaquie This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 21, 2009 at 3:35 pm
Wow, I can't even describe how I feel about this... Its amazing of course; but right now all I want to do is curl up into a ball at the bottom of my desk and weep unchecked. This piece was so powerful, and... and... I can't even find the words within myself because their weeping too. You really have some talent here. The piece was beautiful, truly. Keep writing, please.

God bless,
ClaireAndAaron said...
Jun. 30, 2009 at 1:01 am
Oh my gosh. i wanted to cry. it was great. that's such a....sad...but amazing story. I wish I could write like that. The end surprised me even though I had an idea that's where you were going with it.
I like your writing style. It really fits this. It was short and sweet and to the point. Really Great
Denae W. said...
Apr. 20, 2009 at 6:11 pm
In a twisted way, I liked this story. Well, your writing style is better than the story, I think, but it's good.
You have this great tie between your beginning and your end, and the in between is just the right length to keep attention and yet be a story. The dialogue is a little....different/strange, but that's the way the story goes, I guess. Yet, I don't think it was completely necessary for Mike to mention "liking the weeds" three times. Also, how could he hang (I assume t... (more »)
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