My nine-year-old daughter told me she’d be entering a NYT poetry contest.
When she was six, we co-wrote this short piece below.
The Magic Flower
Once upon a time, there lived a little girl. She loved to sing while walking in the rain, and to pick flowers. Her favorite color was red, and sometimes orange. More than anything, she liked to dream. One morning, when she woke up in her high bed, she saw a rainbow flower outside her window. It was as tall as a horse. The girl leaned out the window and tried to pick the flower, but it moved to the other window. The girl thought, I’ll just go to the next window and touch it. But then she thought, what if the flower moves to the window after next? She decided to walk out into the garden and talk to it. She knew it was a magic flower: if it could move, perhaps it could talk.
The dew kissed her feet as she took a few steps on the sparkling grass toward the flower. It remained still, and when she came closer, the flower leaned over the girl with its seven petals, and she found herself inside a giant rainbow umbrella. Is it raining? She thought. But the sun was shining – through the flower’s petals, red and orange, yellow and blue, making kaleidoscopic patterns on her white pajamas, as if pronouncing her the queen of the magic kingdom. The girl touched each petal, whispering a wish into their softness. The flower didn’t answer, only caressed the girl’s bare arms, and she knew that each dream would come true.
She dreamed of friends, who’d never betray her.
She dreamed of meeting a magician, who would understand her dreams.
She dreamed of traveling to magic countries and speaking in foreign tongues with people who looked nothing like her.
She dreamed of creating a magic kingdom of her own, where only kind, smart and funny people were allowed.
She dreamed of being an inspiration to people around her, even though she didn’t know yet what inspiration was.
She dreamed of never getting hurt again by people.
She dreamed of her mother being alive.
More than thirty years have passed, and most of her wishes came true. Except for the last two. Perhaps, it wasn’t a magic flower after all, she thought, sitting on a windowsill of her apartment, smelling the rain outside. Perhaps it was, because five wishes out of seven is better than nothing.