white buffalo calf woman 1
Letter from Gaia
by Maria Nestorides

Dearest,

From the very beginning, I have let you
do as you wished with me without complaint.
Yes, I have suffered in your hands, but I am
here, after all, to be your shelter, to be your refuge,
always accepting of you, knowing without a shadow
of a doubt that the last place you lay your body will
be on mine.

I sometimes wonder if I do
not deserve any care from you, or
any consideration for my well-being. I think
if you had ever felt an inkling of love
for me, you would surely have taken the time
to read the signs, see how I’m doing, ask
what you could do to lighten my pain. Do something.

Do you even realize that your actions or
your inability to act have taken a toll on me?
I do not want to cause you any pain, but
you will force me to do just that. My endurance
has a threshold. Every action has a reaction:
you learnt this in kindergarten. Like a lover
scorned, I will bear the fruits of your negligence
and apathy and become hostile and unforgiving.

Please take care of me now that I’m still
here with you, and you have this final opportunity.
You know very well what I need. I have shown
you over and over again, and when you give
me what I need to flourish, I have done just that.
You are not a child, dearest, neither ignorant nor
naïve but despite your negligence to me, I
struggle to keep showing you my love by
bestowing upon you the best of what I have.

This will not last.

I’m begging you, please take care of me,
so that this whispered plea of mine
to you
is not uttered with my
final
breath.

Gaia.

IMAGE: White Buffalo Calf Woman by Jay Bell Redbird & Halina Stopyra. Photo by Dennis Jarvis.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Maria Nestorides lives in sunny Cyprus. She is married and has two adult children. She has an MA in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University and an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University. Her short stories have appeared in Silver Birch Press, The Sunlight Press, The Story Shack, Inkitt  and she has also contributed a six-word memoir to the book Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak: by Writers Famous and Obscure, by Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser (Jan 6, 2009). You can visit her on Facebook and Twitter.