Once there had only been blank pages. She was born blank and not with the words as the others. The others had started out with years, centuries of knowledge. Some had the purpose of numbers while others of words, all had the purpose of dealings of men. They had laughed and sneered when they realized her existence was to record the mere words of young girls. Embarrassed she had slunk back into the dark shelf away from the flickering candlelight. There in the gloom she sat unnoticed with her small black cover and clean white pages until old kind hands pulled her from her solitary spot on the shelf.
She had been bought as a gift to a young girl whose family had come into an inheritance. The girl’s family had come into twenty-thousand dollars and the money was to be divided amongst the uncles and her father. Her family was large and there were 7 brother’s total. This meant considerably less money in the old country, but in the new country, the money could buy land, in the new country that money would mean a new hope for their future.
At first she did not understand those dreams of others, but could only bask in the feel the young girl’s soft trembling hands floating across her leather cover. Enjoy the feel of the young girl’s excitement as she turned the fresh unwritten pages. The young girl proclaimed her as friend, and she knew that they would be friends. They would have a bond like only true friends can have. She had expected her Friend to write the words of most young girls, but those words had never came, instead such words and images as she could not imagine filled her pages. Slowly at first with missing words and tumbling phrases her Friend began line by line to fill her pages. She wrote words upon words spilling as fast as her Friend could put ink to her pages. She learned of her friend’s previous poverty and the way it had left them at the mercy of others. Of how excited her friend’s family was with the inheritance. She learned her Friend was a poet.
Together on their journey they crossed oceans where her Friend had written of storms so fierce that souls had been swept overboard into the arms of Davy Jones. Of sunsets where the sun and its trailing fingers had clawed at the edge of the water until they were forced to loosen their grasp plunging the ship into the dark with only the twinkling of the stars for light. Her Friend wrote of arriving on unknown shores and the continuous movement of dirty cities. Places where the sun had to pull itself above towering buildings to be seen, its glowing tendrils stretched in between buildings to find a small sliver of green struggling to grow amongst the cracks of grey concrete gardens. Together they had left those cities and crossed vast prairies in wagons that creaked and moaned with the wind. Wagons bound together with rope and wooden nails relentlessly driving forward in seas of grass taller than a horse’s shoulders. They had witnessed the burnt skinned men fighting valiantly to keep their land and through her Friend words she had felt sadness knowing that no matter how just their reason, no matter how righteous their cause, that like others before them there would be little hope for these men.
On they traveled continuing their journey, her Friend writing of the wonders of tree’s taller than any she had seen before, of the unfamiliar animals, and the smell of the forest’s. The fight of man against the elements, the earth, and yes, even against other men. Every day her Friend would come to her and fill her with words of joy, words of tender love, the love of her children, and the despair of death. At one time she had been the center of her Friend’s world so much so, that when a cabin fire had raged around her scorching her cover and licking at her pages, her Friend had shoved others aside to rescue her and carry her to safety from the smoke and cinder.
But as with all living being’s life demands attention and her Friend had less and less time for poems and memories. With fewer years before her, than years lived behind, her Friend feared that the words that she had lovingly written would be lost to time or lost in the care of others. On a cold dark day her Friend gathered her up and carefully, lovingly, wrapped her with wax paper, a hand sewn blanket, and bundled her with a faded ribbon. Her Friend placed her in the warm welcoming earth safe from the world. There she lay protected with the words of her Friend to keep her company.
Years upon years passed and her once scorched black cover faded into a greyish black and alone in the earth she lay until one day a long forgotten warmth spread across her face. She shuddered as her old burnt cover was pulled back and fresh air rushed into her as gentle hands fluttered through her pages. To her surprise and amazement, she heard the words of her Friend spoken once again. It had been a long time, but she still remembered her purpose was to share her Friend’s words and NOW, now was the time. She stretched herself opening willing herself to fall to the pages most loved, those pages most worn, those dog-eared by her Friend. She shuddered at those long-unspoken words still strong and reaching out from her pages to rise so her Friend’s words could be heard.
She was cradled with awe and wonderment away from her bed of earth and taken to a place where scholars read her Friend’s words while scientist tested her age. She read her Friend’s words to young and old alike. She shared the words of faraway places, great journeys, and a lifetime of living. Her Friend’s words opened a door into a time with a poetry of that filled others with great joy and trembling sorrow. She, who once sat humbled and alone on a shelf now carried words more clear and true than any of the others that had shamed her on that dark hidden shelf. Her image was sent around the world and the words of her Friend were printed in many languages. Long forgotten family members came forth to claim the words of her Friend, but the words belonged to her and were not theirs to claim. So, once again she was placed in safe keeping, except this time she was not put in the dark Earth, but in protected case where others could see her, where the light could no longer fade her Friend’s bold strokes. A place where everyone could read the words of her most beloved Friend and read those word’s where once there had only been blank pages.