Sadie hid under the wild lilac bush because the smell made her feel safe. For hours she would watch the day through the branches of tightly clustered blooms that turned everything to purple beauty. She would hold her arm against the flowers to see if the marks matched the same pretty color of the blooms that smelled so sweet. Then Sadie would sniff her own purple marks but they smelled of salt and sadness.
When Mama came looking for her and bark out, “Sadie, where are you? You’re gonna get it, girl!” Sadie would sing to herself and close her eyes. And dream of living in a house made of lilacs—of sweet smells and soft petals. The lush branches were arms that swallowed her into a nest of forgetting and daydreams.
And in Sadie’s dream she would grow up wild like this bush, all arms and legs reaching out to the sun and morning sky and smiling with sweet repose. She would sway with the breeze and make people smile as they passed her on the path. And they would want pieces of her to take home and put in vases and wear in their hair.
When the sky reflected the color of the lilacs Sadie would rise and slowly amble home. Quiet like a mouse into her room. And fall asleep to the smell of lilacs.