Hallie Watson

Indian Tree Plate.
Oil pastel on paper, texted sintra
13.75” x 19.5”
July 9, 2007
Indian Tree Plate

    The maid went to fetch the plates. She was cross. First, there was all that last week and now this. It wasn’t fair! She picked up a stack of plates and made up her mind to say something. She was so angry she wanted to scream. It just wasn’t right. She banged the plates down hard and heard an extra sound when she did it. There was a sudden silence in her head and a horrified suspension of time as she looked down at the top plate. She saw that it was now cracked – not broken, but definitely cracked. And the one below, and the one below that. The whole stack of plates, with the Indian Tree design and the wavey outer edges was cracked. Oh no, oh no, oh no! She was in trouble now. Maybe they wouldn’t notice.

   They did notice. They noticed, but times were different then, so instead of throwing them out, the plates were repaired. Each crack was strengthened along its length on the back with what looked like staples. Tiny holes were drilled and the staples glued in carefully to hold the crack together. The name of the maid faded and time filtered and shifted.

   The house, once surrounded by a huge, sunny lawn, now stands in the deep shade of trees that have been growing for eighty years. The plates are unchanged. Still the staples on the back of each one hold the cracks together and the plates with the Indian Tree design and the wavey outer edges remain unbroken.