White Daisies

I’m imagining a woman who’s not quite me, but like me. She stands on a snowy trail in the woods. She’s bundled up. All she can see is the trail before her and the snow-filled trees on either side. She feels comfortable in the cold. She breathes it in and watches the steam leave her mouth. She walks down the trail. The woods are utterly quiet. These woods feel like her woods, but she doesn’t claim ownership. As she walks, she sees a wolf emerge from the brush, as if it had been watching her the whole time and just now decided to show itself. She knows this wolf. It turns away from her and she feels the need to follow it. She leaves the trail and follows the wolf deeper into the woods. They reach a clearing that holds a frozen pond. The wolf disappears into the woods. The woman walks around the pond and finds a circle made of large, jagged rocks. In the center of the circle is a big piece of quartz. She picks it up and it feels cold in her gloved hand. The quartz belongs to her. She holds it and closes her eyes; a warm breeze kisses her face. She opens her eyes. She’s standing in a meadow filled with buttercups. The sky is bright blue. She sees a girl at the edge of the meadow who looks like her. She has long, windblown brown hair; she wears a sundress. The girl laughs and runs away. The woman follows her; she watches the girl run down a dirt trail to a small house protected by a brown wooden fence. The woman approaches the house. There are pecan trees; there are birds. The girl runs into the house. The windows are open. Next to the house is a garden. There’s a man tending to it. He stands up, brushes the dirt from his hands, and looks at her. She walks through the open gate, to the edge of the garden, and looks at him. He is strong; he looks at her like she’s been gone a long time and he misses her. The woman wants to touch this man, and he wants to be touched by her. The girl runs up to her, hands her a bundle of white daisies, and says these are for you.