The Way I See It

window-shopping-rosita-larssonI have watched you from this window for so long that I have to wonder how often you can go on looking and never seeing. I’m right here in plain sight.

Always the same routine with you: every day searching for something that is right before your eyes, stopping to observe as crowds hustle past.

I see it in your blank face, your empty expression, the way you stare. You want something more, something to quell the dissatisfaction. But you don’t even know what that something is. Your reflection shimmers with desire as you stand there.

If only you weren’t so frozen, unable to move beyond this prison not of your own devising. You let yourself be used, positioned for everyone else’s happiness at the cost of your own. Now you’re on display for the entire world to see, all the while pretending you are invisible, hidden away on the top floor, safe above the masses below.

From every angle you are visible, from inside and out. And you don’t even know I’m watching. If you could just tip your head up or tilt it down, a bit to the left, maybe the right, you would see me there as rigid as a soldier yet at ease. Patiently waiting. And never touching, we would share a smile and know that everything will be all right.

Instead, you fix your hair, straighten your clothes, stand at perfect, stylish attention, retreat within. It’s time to move on; tomorrow, we will repeat the whole process.


Thank you to my dear friend, Rosita Larrson, for allowing me to use her beautiful photography as a visual writing prompt.  This particular photograph, “Window Shopping,” can be found at Rosita Larrson, fineartamerica, in the gallery titled Mannequins Display Windows Reflections.

A Vision in Red

I woke up this morning thinking about the red glass rabbit. The memory must have ridden in on the tail end of a wild night of dreaming because I haven’t thought about her in decades. In my mind, she still holds center court among the animal figurines sitting on my great aunt’s kitchen windowsill in Tennessee.

My great aunt never hesitated to let me play with what I believed were her most treasured possessions. For this reason, I took great care not to break any of the inch and a half tall animals in the collective herd. There was a goose and a deer among the group, but my favorite was the solid red, blown glass rabbit with two miniscule dollops of white glass for eyes. She was perfect.

Red Glass RabbitThe red glass rabbit starred as the heroine in all my adventures played out on the kitchen table. She forever needed rescued by the other animals led by her boyfriend, the deer. I’m pretty sure I named him Bambi; I don’t recall what I named the rabbit. Every scenario, in which I imprisoned her in a tiny basket, ended with her being declared queen, a title she graciously accepted.

Occasionally, her liberation depended on the assistance of my great aunt’s salt and pepper shakers. There were four of them, two couples of different size, reminiscent of the man on the Cream of Wheat box and Aunt Jemima. These shakers are the type of item labeled Black Americana today and are found in antique stores and probably homes south of the Mason/Dixon line. I could be wrong about that, though.

During one summer visit to my great aunt’s home, I was horrified to discover that since the last year, someone had chipped the ear of the red glass rabbit. My great aunt didn’t seem as upset as I believed she should have been. She said either she, or my great uncle, or her mother probably knocked the rabbit off while washing dishes. My thoughts fluctuated between relief that it wasn’t me who caused the mar and appreciation that the damage could have been so much worse.

My great aunt broke up housekeeping several years ago after my great uncle and her mother passed. She sold the home and large items in Tennessee, bestowed smaller goods upon close friends, packed up the rest, and moved back to Ohio. It was good to have her home. I asked about the salt and pepper shakers because I trusted their size ensured they survived until my adult years. Unfortunately, my great aunt had already given them away.

I never inquired about the red glass rabbit. I knew in my heart the tiny treasure had disappeared long ago. Before I stopped playing with my own collection of animal figurines, the red glass rabbit probably had her ears and toes chipped until she appeared in a sorry state. Or perhaps one tumble into the depths of the empty kitchen sink was one too many, and she had to be discarded.

Does it matter that my great aunt probably doesn’t even remember owning such an item?  Does anyone reading this even care? Who can say? All I know is that somewhere in time, a very talented glassblower created a beautiful red glass rabbit that brought immeasurable joy to a little girl.

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