She held a basket of strawberries.
She would have perched it on her hip, if she’d had hips. But her body was one of a child, maybe seven or eight. Too thin, too narrow.
To be honest, she wasn’t the best salesman. Instead of hawking her sweet smelling berries, she stood and watched a group of children playing. They rolled and wrestled on the damp ground, their clothes growing muddy and stained. She watched, her own clothes showing no stains that would indicate she ever played in them. She watched, from afar.
Holding her basket of strawberries.
I wonder. One day, when she’s an adult, will the sweet smell of strawberries be a stench to her. Will they draw her back to her childhood?
Will she remember standing in the hot, muggy Guatemalan air? Watching children play while she worked?
Will the smell cause a knot to form in her stomach?
Will she feel sad?
I pray she never as to perch a basket of strawberries on her hip.
I pray that long before her teenage years, someone is able to invest in her.
To send her to school.
To tell her that she deserves something different.
I pray that she will have a childhood filled with games and friends and laughter and playing in the dirt on a warm summer afternoon.
Not baskets of strawberries.