Back in the ‘long ago days’ I had a friend named Theresa Semlar. ‘Been over three decades since I had any truck with her but she was a nice gal as gals go and I gave her a little set of ceramic angels, that prayed, for her birthday. One day mom and dad came in my room and gave me the angels back. They said she had come to the door and said she could not keep them because her mom said they had sprouted wings and horns and devil tails and were flying around the house so I took …back my present.
Those angels never flew for me.
Many years later a good friend gave me another one of those angels. It was a sweet gift and I kept it. I lost it yesterday. 24 years later it was stolen from a plant arrangement outside my apartment in the indoor planter box assigned to me.
The night before I had caught a lady messing with the plants and she told me she had ‘fixed’ mine. She is killing the plants maybe. Running around with a pair of scissors and chopping up all the plants. No doubt some people will be mad at her. No doubt at all. She looked at me and stuttered that she was trying to keep the plants alive.
Maybe she was.
Today I went downstairs and she was trying to cut down a ceiling high palm tree in the lobby and had it halfway done. I went back upstairs to water what she has left of my plants and the angel, from a great friend I might never see again in this life, was gone.
I got angry and went inside and made a sign on a popcicle stick to put in the plant pot where the angel went missing. On it I had written,
‘To the one who stole this. Rest assured it will grow horns
and a tail and fly around your room at night.”
I was going to take it outside and plant it in the pot with the, now, nearly-pruned-away-dead red Elephant Ear and something stopped me. You know that little voice inside? It said.
“What if you go crazy one day? What if the thing you are going to do in half-jest drives that woman over the edge and she jumps off the fourth floor balcony in fear that a ceramic angel grew horns and a tail and came to life now that the winter winds and the earth quakes make the building shake?”
I put my sign in the trash. My love for my old friend lives in my heart…
…not in a ceramic angel.