dVerse — Prosery — The Tender Gray

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In the tender gray, I swim undisturbed.
by Celia Dropkin, from,  “In Sullivan County”

I was a first grandchild who basked in the attention of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and the warm light of my parents. The war had ended a few years before my birth. It was a time when food, supplies, and gasoline were rationed. To them, my small form was a bright flame — a symbol of hope for brighter times.

In retrospect, I can only guess that the novelty of hope wore off, as their attentions waned. Left to wander the jungles of yard and neighborhood, the shadows of predators drew near. Was it my innocent flame or the opportunity of the unattended that drew them?

Tainted with the stench of victimhood, I learned that attention was never to be trusted.

The holy texts say not to hide one’s flame under a bushel basket. The texts lie.

In the tender gray, I swim undisturbed.

 

Top image link here.

I am today’s host for dVerse’ Prosery. I say:
Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to incorporate the [top] quote into a piece of prose. This can be either flash fiction, nonfiction, or creative nonfiction, but it must be prose! Not prose poetry, and not a poem. And it must be no longer than 144 words, not including the title. (It does not have to be exactly 144 words, but it can’t exceed 144 words.)

 

 

 

 

37 Comments Add yours

  1. merrildsmith says:

    That poor child. What a sad lesson to learn! I feel for her. Nicely done, Lisa!

    Your first link in Mister Linky is something weird.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks much, Merril. I deleted the bad link, thanks for the heads-up. Writing on the wing today and rushing means mistakes for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. merrildsmith says:

        You’re welcome, Lisa. It’s so easy to put in the wrong link. Just wanted you to know.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That trauma must lead to major lifelong problems

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      From what I know and have experienced, it has a lasting impact as it shapes one’s foundational world view. That said, trauma can be processed to a place where victims can minimize the effects and live less affected lives. Education and support are two key factors involved in processing trauma.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Heart wrenching with a dollop of hope. You drew me in then blew me away! Nice one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Many thanks, Susan. I’m glad you see the hope at the end.

      Like

  4. memadtwo says:

    This reminds me of the news story of the girl abducted by the FedEx driver recently. It’s a scary world, and every day I wonder at what makes people do such horrible things. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Kerfe, I didn’t hear about the girl abducted by FedEx driver and hope they found her soon. I look at humans as having so much arrogance and narcissism that they’ve decided to fill in every role in the ecosystem — including predators. Why they keep some incarcerated for life for drug type offenses while giving child predators short sentences and inadequate supervision when released is a national shame.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. memadtwo says:

        It is.
        Sadly, they found the girl dead. Another senseless tragedy.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. rothpoetry says:

    Oh no… a sweet then very sad story. Well done, Lisa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks much, Dwight.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. rothpoetry says:

        You are welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Mish says:

    A very poignant piece and a subject that so many need to be more aware of. Even when we think our children are safe. Based on my studies of childhood trauma ( but fortunately not my own experiences) there are many protective factors that can make a significant difference moving forward in life from trauma…the difference between falling into very dark places or having hope for the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks much, Mish. Glad to hear you are educated on the issue.

      Like

  7. From light to dark to gray. I hope she heals and is healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much, D. I hope so also.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The word ‘tender’ really has so much meaning in this piece, its sad to think there are predators who look for easy targets and want to take away that beautiful innocence. I was quite disturbed today as well after hearing a 7-year-old girl was killed by a Fed-Ex driver, abducted from her very home! 😔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      It happens more than you would like to know. After Kerfe mentioned it I had to find out more info. When they asked FedEx if he had a criminal record they said they didn’t know. Say what??? No criminal hx check needed to be a driver that is going to homes all day long?? 😦

      Like

  9. K.Hartless says:

    You piece makes a poignant point, Lisa. The mixed messages we are illuminated in this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      K, thank you so much. It happens far too often.

      Like

  10. Sadje says:

    A heartfelt story Li.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Sadje, yes it is, for too many 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        Very true my friend

        Liked by 1 person

  11. This packed a punch, from so many angles. The grey of the shadows must seem like a comfort for many.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. jaybluepoems says:

    Such a sad commentary on what seems becomingly commonplace today. I feel for the tender hearts and souls so damaged by the brutality of the misguided, lost, and evil souls among us. Hurts to read this. God bless, you and them all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Jay thank you for your sensitive comment and thank you for caring.

      Like

  13. To live by such adoration and attention for a while just to have it taken from you without reason has to be the worst way to start out a life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Bjorn I believe you’re right. Thank you for your heartfelt comment.

      Like

  14. poetisatinta says:

    Traumatic but a survivor I am sure ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Badfinger (Max) says:

    It turned grim but it happens in real life easily.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes it does, Max.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. M. Ashley says:

    Carrying form and flame all the way through is so well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      M, thank you very much.

      Like

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