My daughter is volcanic, primal, and ceaselessly moving…like tectonic plates which sit uneasily against one another until something builds to the point where the brittle edges can no longer hold. I stand beside her as one who observes an active volcano. Just like it sounds. I am fascinated. I am cautious. I hope she will remain unscathed.
Her world contains pressures, all beyond her making. She rides atop them with two conflicting impulses: I must be a certain way…I cannot be this way.
Her volcanic soil which mulches the world around her is perfectly seasoned to cultivate growth. I hear her tending to this flowered garden in the voices she uses to soothe the hot-tempered impulses of Sophie and Keira and the many other girls with whom she talks with late into each night. Sometimes after a particularly long conversation she will partake in aftercare and pruning through continued texts and sent photos, each one a carefully cultivated hope for her sisters to thrive through whatever magma has engulfed their lives.
She has eruptions which can’t be reasoned with. She will grumble and rumble and decide to keep herself together, only to burst in anguish toward the sky when I tell her again for the countless time that I don’t understand her, that I want to understand her, that I wish I knew. She spews her red-hot splashes of fiery debris heavenward as she paces the living room floor before me and peppers me with accusations and apologies and half-composed couplets containing care for the earth and scathing scorn for men and unrealized expectations for romance, all within a few short breaths.
But after these bursts, as the ash cloud slowly settles in the sky around us, the sunsets are spectacular. She’ll sit at my feet and let me brush her hair and finally, finally take a breath and observe the quiet of the evening. She’ll tell me what she hopes for…who she likes…and how her mind is so filled with thoughts that she can’t contain them all within her cradle.
Zary Fekete has worked as a teacher in Hungary, Moldova, Romania, China, and Cambodia. She currently lives and works as a writer in Minnesota. Some places she has been published are Goats Milk Mag, JMWW Journal, Bethlehem Writers Roundtable, and Zoetic Press. She enjoys reading, podcasts, and long, slow films.