My Other Mother

December 9, 2010
By , Madison, WI
when the cold air tastes like blood in my lungs
and I would go home with a runny nose
and my mother would make me honey toast
and bananas cut into slices
with brown sugar on each one
and tomato soup
and I would pretend to be a mermaid in the bath
let my hair fan out and open my eyes under water
and I would get some water on the walls
and it would stain
but my mother didn't mind
she would play dolls with me between shifts
and I would sometimes come with her to work
if she couldn't pay the babysitter that day
and she would sew me monarch butterfly wings
for Halloween
and we would go to a movie and eat only the green M&M's
under the light of the projector
how is it
that she is gone
oh, she's still here
but she is not the same person
exchanged her waitress apron for a briefcase
and married
and had two more kids
and I am just an odd outlier
to her perfect nuclear family
the other kid
older that all of her friends' children
the experiment
the practice one
for her real life
that she has now

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