|Oct/Nov 2020 Poetry Special Feature|
My eyes feel small as I watch mom
take a knife and slice down with
grace and love so sharply I can
feel the blade cut across my thin
torso. She hands me a slice and
I suck on its nectar that tastes
of glittering joy. Juices spill
from the corners of my mouth
and drip on the tiles and my
toes. I run outside to rinse the
sticky in Daddy's storm and the
hose trickles make me feel new like
I'm a seed inside. She hands me
another slice through the window
and I put it whole in my mouth,
feeling like a sunny dream.
Not caring, I twirl with the wind,
not the mist, with a piece of fresh
tang on my wet lips. I ask her to
join, but she waves no with a
smile. I check on my father,
who's still watering our garden.
Today, he's nice to mother and
in the morning, he brought
me a strawberry cupcake from
the new bakery down the street.
He had pink flames in his eyes
and I gave him a kiss. Mom did too.
I'm trying to take advantage of
my freedom today. My copy
of James and the Giant Peach on
my porch is curled; its pages
smelling like dewy marigold,
not a sweet home. I palm the soft
cover and realize how much
the sun looks like a summer mango.