Once I spoke the language of flowers

“Come! Destiny awaits you, child!” The old woman stretched out her hand waiting for me to grab it. Her dress was made up of a type of fabric I had never seen before. The cloth swirled with multiple constellations, constantly spinning and moving; the effect was dizzying.

“Child?” I stared back at her wondering how she had managed to get into my bedroom, what with her arthritis and everything. “I’m twenty-six. I’m hardly a child. You’re too late.”

It was only then that I noticed a sheen of despair shimmer across her dark eyes. “Ahh, but you could be,” she responded with a sigh as heavy as the oceans weighing down upon my heart. She stared so deeply into my face that I thought I would drown in her eyes, and she began quoting,

Once I spoke the language of the flowers,
Once I understood each word the caterpillar said,
Once I smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings,
And shared a conversation with the housefly
in my bed.
Once I heard and answered all the questions
of the crickets,
And joined the crying of each falling dying
flake of snow,
Once I spoke the language of the flowers. . . .
How did it go?
How did it go?

“Is that Shel Silverstein?” I asked confused; my head prickled with a memory of me speaking to the creatures outside of my house, but that was so long ago and of course make-believe.

She looked at me sadly, “Please, tell me it’s not too late.” Her fingers lay open for me to grab, and I decidedly told myself, Screw it. I have waited for this for so long. I wrapped my hand around hers and the world disappeared.