What has Asia taught her daughters? Honor your mother. Honor your father. “You are your family’s glory,” she says. Have you ever felt as such?
The twig at the end of the branch, tasked with growing that leathery bark around yourself. You must adhere to the tree. You must extend it. Split your ends and you will lose everything you know.
(But you might gain yourself in its stead.)
What has Asia given her daughters? Varied climates. Varied terrain. “You can grow fruit here,” she says, eyes shining. Have her eyes ever shined like that for you?
Seasons pass and harvests rise, fruit finding its way onto the edges of your plate every day. You must accept your gift. You must not question it. Take a bite and she will be easier to love.
(It is surprising how warm the cold flesh of an apple can be.)
Her warmth is suffocating, her rain flooding. No one has ever tried to help her, after all. But the apples, the pears, the mangoes, they grow every harvest. She knows no other way to channel her love.
(Perhaps Demeter hated the pomegranate so much because she did not think to use it first.)
Yet still, you grow. You take the fruit and you grow. You love the apples, the pears, the mangoes. Through sixteen years, the most gentle warmth you’ve ever received is always from cold, sticky juices dripping down your chin.
“Mother, may I have some fruit?” Freshly picked, sliced, and peeled, it is crisp. It is sweet. It is full. (Then why are you hungry for so much more?)
Aditi Choudhury is a 16-year-old Indian-American junior from Texas.