The Alphabet Song


The following vignette was written as an assignment requiring students to mimic the style of Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street. Cisneros’s prose reads much like poetry and Tianna captures that style with ease and accuracy. Enjoy!

I hate dolls. The big, beady, lifeless eyes that follow wherever you go. The way their heads can turn a full 180 degrees like the demonized horror movies everyone seems to like. Stuffed animals are more my cup of tea, but for some odd reason I decided to play with my dolls that day. A big white and pink toy bus and two big lips, curvy hipped, hourglass shaped Bratz dolls to be exact. One with brightly sun colored hair and one with pastel colored streaks of purple running through her hair.

The day was bright. So bright, that the floating dust began to look like tiny little fairies dancing in the warm glow. Alone and unaware, I began strutting the dolls down the make believe runway, hearing make believe screams, winning make believe trophies. The loud speaker in my head shouts out, “The next song is….” I stop and stare at the clock as it ticked and tocked, putting me slowly into a trance.

I wonder how do they do it? How do I sound like them? The ones on the radio, the ones on the television interviews. How? So I tried. I tried to sing like they do. Tightening the vocal cords and shaping the muscles of my mouth so that I can sound like them. The famous voices in the television. The ones that can make you cry. I want to make people cry, too, but in the good way or maybe bad. So I tried. 

“A B C D E F G” and so on. I began singing. Changing the tone and pulling the vocal strings to my will. The clock no longer ticked and tocked. The wind stopped blowing, and the fairies stopped dancing in the bright sun. Everything stopped except for Mommy. She had heard me, but I didn’t know. All the letters, A to Z were finished being sung and now it was time for the next song of the show. Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are. That was my favorite song because it made me feel special. 

When the song was finished, my eyes that were once closed, opened, and I realized for the first time in life what could happen if I just tried instead of being afraid. Mommy heard everything. She was not supposed to, no one was supposed to hear me. She gave me applause and a bright warm smile. I didn’t smile back. Instead, my stomach churned, eyes scrunched up, and my hands went right over my face.

I didn’t make her cry. I wanted her to cry. I looked up and pretended to be proud. It seems I have a long way to go before I can change someone’s eyes.