Have You Ever Seen Anything Like It?

by Abigail Rudibaugh

In 5th grade Art class
our new project was
to make clay food.
The teacher asked
it to be life-like.

But at home I saw
a pile of clay berries
shiny and perfect
sitting on the sill
above the sink.

So I decided to make
a giant strawberry—
different than all the rest—
as a surprise gift
to the collection.

I didn’t know the teacher
would use me as an example
of what not to do
for years after, asking,
“Have you ever seen
a strawberry this size?”
.
I didn’t know 5th grade
would give me the lowest
grade I’d ever get in Art.

I didn’t know how embarrassed
I’d feel for taking a risk
and smiling proud as I turned
my project into the kiln
thinking how creative I had been.

And I didn’t know how long
my mom would keep
that giant strawberry on the sill
proud and asking, “Have you
ever seen anything like it?”

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6 Comments

  1. Love this one! It’s true how some of those moments stick with us forever…and become part of our definition.

  2. Love the repetition: “I didn’t know” and how much a mother’s love can turn everything right-side-up again.

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