And Then My Mother Said to Me…
Writing prompts are such a powerful way to get at the gut of something. I came across this prompt I wrote in 2005. I had totally forgotten about it until I found it on an old memory stick. The prompt given my writing group was: “And then my mother said to me…. (In case you aren’t familiar with writing prompts, you take what’s given you and write without lifting you fingers off the keyboard until the timer goes off. Might try it something. Powerful.)
Writing Prompt—Persist & Publish, February 17, 2005
Sylvia Dickey Smith
And then my mother said to me, you would be so pretty if you’d just lose some weight, wear your hair off your face, cut it short like mine. She pulls and tugs until there is almost nothing of me left. Until I pull away and force up an emotion-blocker screen so that my disappointment to her is not so great, does not matter, ceases to wring out my heart like a wet rag, like the nights I cried myself to sleep, wishing someone would come to my bedside and tell me they love me, my mother or my father, but they never came. Instead my mom said “well if you feel like crying just cry, marry a good man who has a good job and takes care of you, who comes home and stays with you and doesn’t go running around with other men or women, one who cherishes you and who trusts in God, a man who never changes, who stays the same, year after year after year after year until I outgrew him and left him an infant in a cradle while I went out back and grew into Jackie and the beanstalk.