Poetry

Happy Make-Believe

My mother’s dressing gown is dark green velvet, three velvet buttons I love to stroke. She’s climbing twenty-one wooden stairs, coming to say goodnight. Her emerald-ring hand glides up the banister, right hand lifts the full-length folds as she feels for each narrow plank with neat, black-slippered feet. My mother is slim and light of step, not yet ground down by hard work or the hurt of infidelity. Each night she makes up tales— a hero fighting dragons, a princess saved by a prince— casting my brother and me in all the central roles, building for us a world of…

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