A Children's Book
by Janice Daugharty and Laney Dowdy
Copyright 2010 Janice Daugharty
The new moon hangs high in the summer sky behind my Nannie's old farm house. She says it reminds her of my clipped fingernails. She says she used to be a little girl like me. She is old now. She walks lopsided and coughs in the mornings. But she squeezes fresh orange juice just for me.
After breakfast we go out to her tomato garden. The bushy green plants are tall as my head. It's like walking in a jungle. Dew on the leaves glitters in the sunshine. Tiny yellow flowers grow like lemon drops from the vines. Bees wearing fur coats with yellow stripes buzz and light on the flowers.
I help Nannie prune her tomato plants. I pick off the tiny yellow flowers while she picks off the sprouts at the throat of the branches. She says, "No, don't pick the flowers. Those are the start of baby tomatoes." Then she takes me out in the field behind the garden to pick what she calls wild flowers. Red, yellow, blue, I pluck the blooms off. She picks only flowers with long stems, an even bouquet in her rough red hands. But when we get home, it is my flowers she arranges in her good green vase.
Next night at Nannie's house, her moon looks like a dish broke in half. She brushes my hair first. She says her gray hair used to be blond like mine. When I brush her hair, it crinkles like autumn hay. Her hair is the color of the moon; mine is the color of the sun.