Alongside the Sun

You saw a giraffe once in the city.

It was made of stones and silver. It was pinned to the collar of a woman’s winter coat. And it’s head stood so tall and so sure, it seemed to belong alongside the sun.

You looked at the woman. Who also seemed tall and sure. An owner of the air she filled.

I love your giraffe, you told her. Then, even though you knew you would likely never buy a giraffe of your own, you asked the woman, Where did you get it?

The woman looked at you. My aunt, she told you. My aunt gave it to me.

You nodded, knowing now you would never buy a giraffe for the collar of your winter coat. You were never a pin wearer anyway, you shrugged to yourself.

But the woman was still talking. My aunt gave it to me, the woman said again, to remind me to hold myself tall. Like a giraffe. Like I mattered.

The woman turned her head straight to you. I’m quite short, you know.

Again, you looked at the woman who seemed tall and sure. And when you looked, you noticed for the first time that she was shorter than you. By inches and inches.

She smiled. She knew you were only now noticing. She looked down at her giraffe, she looked up at you, gave a little nod. Then she left. Tall and sure and owning the air she filled.

You watched her go. You wouldn’t need to buy a giraffe for the collar of your winter coat, you thought.

You would just need to remember to hold yourself like you, too, belonged alongside the sun.

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