Pumpkins, Butterflies, and a Former Tent Delivery Woman

What do these texts suggest to you about the impact significant events have on
an individual’s ability to determine their own destiny?

Creative response to the poem “THE TENT DELIVERY WOMAN’S RIDE” by Wilmer Mills.

Theme statement: When an individual grows up surrounded by uncertainty, they will later in life feel the need to lead a life that is full of stability and balance, this is a direct result to the chaos they had previously felt.

The leftover pumpkins from Halloween haven’t been collected but a fresh sheet of snow covered the small insignificant orange specks like a blanket; their once lively faces hung low from the force of mother nature wrecking insanity within their hard, orange insides. Everytime I pass these pumpkins, my sympathy bubbles for these sad jack-o-lanterns, for I too, can understand their beatings; it is these beatings that I have developed the need for a simple life. I tread lightly down the path that I take every morning, breathing in the bitter, cold morning air, inhaling every speck of air the trees have offered me today. The biting air helps my thoughts re-organize themselves; today, on this particular walk, I’ve been debriefing the person I was in the past: a beautiful woman filled with nectar of potential and yet, I chose to be bitter and distant towards others allowing it to become a mask engraved upon my soul.

I was a tent delivery woman. A tangled woman, no matter how many strings I untangled for the tents I delivered, I couldn’t untangle myself; it was as if I was the only string that couldn’t be unraveled. My daughter had once asked me if I’d always been this chaotic, I got defensive and lectured her about how I got it from my mother who got it from my grandmother; telling my daughter the nature of our hierarchy acts in mysterious ways that we shouldn’t question. I had been asked by countless others to be a sweeter person; I knew deep down that I had the potential to be as sweet as a damn nectar, but just the thought of it had made me sick.

Who hurt you?

Asked another, I knew deep down that it was the family members I once loved that hurt me. I badly wanted to reply with: “my mother, my mother hurt me; her words stabbed me like sticks and stones, the first wound never healing but a second comes tossed my way and the only relief I could receive was to run far, far away. And that made me a bitter woman.”

You have to realize, I am no longer that woman; a tuft of white enshrines my head that I proudly wear as a crown, the elasticity within my skin has given out leaving me the same as the drooping orange pumpkins I see, and along with the pumpkins, my hard insides have softened and worn away. The cycle of life has shown me that it is not enough to settle for less; contentment towards chaos is never going to get me anywhere, like the seasons I must constantly be moving forward, innovating change.

I had been driving to my next set up when a purple butterfly splattered onto my window. Taking it, I held it up to the light and intently observed it. The wings were lined with chaotic, angry knots, shivering everywhere the lights touched. These knots remind me of the stitches my mother tried to teach me.

I toss the wings onto the side of the road.

Through the thick woods on this path, the gleaming wing of a purple butterfly catches my eye.  I watch the calm swirling patterns of its knots engraved on its transcending wings, every shift and turn it makes creates a different hue. These knots may remind me of the stitches my mother tried to teach me, however, I am no longer a tangled woman; untangled from my bitter past, I watch the butterfly glide away along with the calming breeze.

At the end of my walk, I glance around at a new scenery; the leftover pumpkins have finally been collected, in their place sits the winding Christmas lights in preparation for a new season.

*If it’s not already apparent: the italicized sections indicates her past.

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4 thoughts on “Pumpkins, Butterflies, and a Former Tent Delivery Woman

  1. *I won’t spam you with long ~AP English~ comments but this too was great! You’ve got to be pump-kidding me with all this talent!

  2. Dear Judy,

    Once again, you have amazed me with your creativity and your writing brilliance! I really enjoyed reading this piece, and I could feel the hints of pain in the narrator’s voice as she recalled the painful memories of her past, as well as the progression of her character’s personality paralleled with the progression of her life. It was a touching story – simple, yet beautiful.

    There wasn’t a lot in your personal response that needed improvement. The only sentence I found that could be improved was “I am not longer a tangled woman,” where you can use “no” instead of “not” in order to better hear the flow in your sentence. However, this, in no way, takes away from the soul of your piece!

    I really enjoyed the imagery you employed in your post. This was especially evident in the comparison of the narrator with pumpkins: “a beautiful woman filled with nectar of potential.” I also liked “…a tuft of white enshrines my head that I proudly wear as a crown, the elasticity within my skin has given out leaving me the same as the drooping orange pumpkins I see, and along with the pumpkins, my hard insides have softened and worn away.” Sentences such as this enforce the theme of change and just as one changes to better determine their own destiny, the narrator changes in time as well. This idea is further emphasized symbolically with the passing of Halloween to the Christmas season, a change of festivities that not only parallels the change in seasons, but also the change in the human individual. It was beautifully expressed and I truly enjoyed the way you explored this idea. Great job!

    Let me repeat myself by saying that I really enjoyed your post! I really liked the way you explored the prompt and crafted it into a story, one so simple, yet so powerful. I truly hope that I will be able to read more stories like this from you in the future, as your work never ceases to amaze me!

    Ever yours,

    1. Dear Jieo,

      Oh me, oh my, I totally just went and fixed the “not” error; that must have been my finger spazzing, thank you for pointing that out! But thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful feedback.


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