Perhaps she was once a beautiful maiden. Perhaps, she once wore flowers in her hair, and skipped in fields of poppies. I do not know.

They say that once upon a time, she had long, beautiful hair. She was the most desired girl in the whole county. Her dark hair, dark eyes, and smiling red lips drew every boy to her. They would watch her as she danced before them, smiling and beckoning. They followed her. She was once an enchanting thing, stunning and seductive. Once upon a time, perhaps.

They say she grew up difficultly. There was nothing much going for her besides the delicious curve of her red lips, and the frighteningly haunting look in her dark eyes. Her family had no use for her. She left them as soon as she could. I would not know.

A young girl, all alone in the world. She was like a lone butterfly, flying among predators, eager to snatch their prize-to-be. So vulnerable, all alone, was she. The flowers fell out and dried, crumpled and discarded on the side of the road on which she walked. They lay beside footprints, leading up along the road, and no matter how hard the wind blew at them, the flowers never moved. So they say.

The color faded from her rosy cheeks, and soon she was beautiful in a saddening way. Her eyes were more hollowed out, and she grew. She grew out of her delicate body, perfect for dancing, perfect for laughing, into a slender, somber thing, a carefully twined stick. This is how it goes.

They didn't recognize her when she returned. The boys who had once worshipped the ground on which she walked were gone, and had been replaced by men. Most did not wait for her to return, but those who did were shocked by the woman they saw. This is what they told.

She stayed. This we know.

She traveled back to the field of poppies she once played in. The children laughed and smiled, plucking flowers and presenting them to her, their mother. Her sad smile told of a story untold. Of this, we are sure.

Her life slipped away bit by bit as the years went by. They said she was once the most beautiful creature the earth had ever seen. I do not know. All I remember is a wrinkled, sad old woman, watching the world. All I remember is her expression as she stared out onto the fields of wildflowers. All I remember is how every time I brought her flowers, a shadow of a smile played across her face, and she pulled the flowers off the stem, and placed them in her hair. All I remember is her, holding me and hugging me close. Perhaps she was once something more. Perhaps she had this story that she never told. Once upon a time, perhaps…

Dedicated to all stories untold