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Sweet as Candy: A Novel in Verse

By @Madison


Candace Elaine Noble.

That’s the name written on my birth certificate

A moniker designed by my mother.

The first name belonged to her own mother

The second, her own middle name.

She didn’t have much say in the last part

Forced to use the name she carried herself

Since the man who helped create me

Had decided he wasn’t interested in treating me like family.

In itself, my name is a prophecy written by Vanessa Elaine Noble from her hospital bed

A mother’s wish that her child be blessed with the virtues of the women before her.

She wanted me to share her fiery perseverence

Rise from my ashes should anyone ever burn me down.

To contradict those traits

She wished for me to exhibit the selflessness of my grandmother

Willing to give the shirt off my back and the roof over my head for my loved ones

A serene soul

Who constantly exuded love and kindness.

But that was in the early days.

As I grew up, my mother rarely called me by my given name at all.

She had forgotten all about her meaningful reasoning for my name

Focusing on what she could prove I inherited from her

At such a young age.

One trait I had received from her was an insatiable sweet tooth

Which was part of the reason for the nickname she christened me with.

“Candy,” she’d call me on her good days

Which were bountiful in my earliest memories.

“My little Candace. You might as well be made of sugar, little girl, because you’re sweet as candy.”

She’d pull me into her lap after she said this

Strands of her soft blonde hair tickling my skin as she kissed my cheek

Leaving a perfect pink lipstick stain.

Then she’d dig a Dum-Dum or Tootsie Roll from her pocket

And send me on my merry way.

Though there were many days

That are clouded over by my lack of memory from that time

I know that those are my best memories of her

Occuring some time before a switch flipped

And things went so horribly wrong.

It is these memories that feel both like a punch in the gut and a sliver of hope.

I like to think that she loved me then

That things didn’t just change

Because she decided to stop pretending that she cared.

Yet, it hurts

That she changed when change was still so abstract to me.

Though my mother changed so drastically within a year or two

I was still the little girl I always had been.

In fact

On that fateful day in the grocery store

When she finally fully snapped

I was still fully focused on that sweet tooth of mine

A red lollipop held in my tiny hand

As I trailed behind her

Unaware that I was prancing toward disaster.

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