Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Safety Pin Cafe ... a tale, a medicine story begins

 What better medicine for a winter cold then the fabrication of a cozy place, and company worth keeping.
- The Joy Weed Journal

It was a day a duck could love. For that matter the week was a duck's paradise. Dressed for the season in my long skirt, paisley wool shawl, and tea cozy hat with a red felt hibiscus over my left ear my feet splashed in puddles. The sensible shoes, black leather lace-ups answered the silly duck talk coming from the edges, "It makes no never-mind to me. For though I have no oily feathers to shed the rain, my sensible shoes are always game." I'm sure the ducks got even sillier as I twirled at the end of every city block but by then they were out of earshot. Most of the other walkers were tucked tight against the insides of their big black umbrellas, but from under my red felt hibiscus I thought I caught the glimmer of blue. Pale and translucent fairy wings. "They don't usually come out in downpours," my eyes scanned the pavement for their scent. Sometimes you can smell a fairy as sure as see one. The wind began to dance with me as I lifted my nose and sniffed from beneath the felt hat now much soaked through with rain. No fairies. But, a large copper pin about the size of a butterfly dropped from the cherry red awning above me and landed on my right boot. A pin. A safety pin. "My Ma,"besides being famous for carrying a flashlight my mother always wore at least one but more often a couple safety pins. Just in case. Long before it was punk fashion, safety pins were a talisman of security hard-wired in my DNA like knowing how to make something out of nothing. I fondled the pin and felt the distance of time between us compress. There. Here. Together.

A waterfall drained itself off the red awning. I side-stepped the cascade, opened the pin and ran it through the edge of my shawl. Twinkle lights brightened the windows under the awning where a woman smiled from behind pale blue eyes. A bright gold scarf wrapped round her neck seemed to smile, too. She pointed to the sign over the windows. In letters like liquid copper I read The Safety Pin Cafe. Ravens black and shiny as if dipped in wet ink sat in the panes of the windows out-lined and sparkling with fairy lights. "Against the seasonal darkness, the trick is to tickle the light from its hiding places," that was coming from the woman on the other side of the window panes. I smiled as I recognized my fairy, a Muse perhaps, reached for the crystal door knob and pushed the front door open. The smell of warm cinnamon toast and hot milk filled my nostrils.

The tale continues. Click here.
The Safety Pin Cafe and The Joy Weed Journal are Copyright Protected(c), 2012
Yvonne Mokihana Calizar  


  1. Love the title "Safety Pin Cafe" which recalls childhood and babies (I had mine back before disposable diapers) and the smell of talc and mother pinning up my torn sleeve. And the little line of safety pin elephants, head to tail, that sat on my mother's dresser.

    Good memories. Thanks.

    Jane Yolen

  2. Memories do that don't they, tickle from us the bridges to connect here and there. I too raised our son on cotton diapers and safety pins run through my hair to ease the sharp ends through.

    Glad to see you visiting and commenting, Jane. Thank you.


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