A Study in Mascara
Mommy is short and thick with wide hips and a wider bosom, complemented by the way her hair cascades over her shoulders and frames her chest with dark curls both slick and wild. She has child eyes—because she is scarcely a grown-up, but I have yet to learn that—and laughs a lot, easy and loud. When I'm sad, she hugs me close and tells me that life isn't always fair but pain is important. She tells me when I'm angry to think with my head first but always trust my feelings. And most importantly, she wakes me up every morning with breakfast and tummy tickles.
In August, the trees are gold, and she paints them on her big canvases that I'm not allowed to touch. She gives me a little square one, like a baby version of hers, and I try to hold the brush like she does, watching her add leaves to the so-far black barren branches.
She says, "You start school tomorrow. You'll like it, I think. You're a lot smarter than I was."
"Okay," I say, even though I'm very sure that is