You didn’t want to be a cornflake girl. Flat, flaky, brittle, disintegrating to dust under the slightest pressure. Your solution was hanging with the raisin girls, once juicy and tart, now shriveled, their sweetness condensed to something sickly and almost rotten. Remaining a grape, bursting when bitten, best consumed young, is not an option, it seems. We must shrivel to preserve ourselves, to provide sustenance in perpetuity, to line the shelves of shelters decades into the future. When we are eaten, do those eating us remember we were once grapes?
Valerie Wayson is a writer and teacher who’s taught in Iraqi Kurdistan, Madagascar, and Texas. She holds an MFA from Georgia College and is pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing at Texas Tech University.