A Mother
Kimberly A. McGrath
I 'm trying to sleep but distant voices prevent me. I dig myself out from underneath a blanket of stuffed animals.

I step out of bed, holding my too-long nightgown up off the floor in one hand. The satin pink nightgown is the closest thing I have to formal wear. I am a princess when I am wear it.

I walk down the hallway, approaching the gate that prevents my dog, Kelly from getting to our bedrooms. As a pup, Kelly chewed at the top of the gate. The vet said it happened because she was bored.

I step over the gate slowly, reminded by the pinked, raw skin on my inner thigh just what can happen if I try to step over the gate too fast.

In the kitchen, my father has a poorly packed suitcase next to him.

"Say goodbye to your father," my mother says.

My father kneels down so we are at eye level, "I'll write to you," he says.

I think of something to say but can honestly not think of a reply to that statement.

My father stands up, picks up the suitcase, and walks out into the spring air.

My mother makes a strange noise and walks into the living room.

I stand alone. I wonder if I should expect breakfast this morning since it is my dad who usually makes it. I have never seen my mother cook. I don't know if she knows how.

First published: February 1998
comments: knobs@iceflow.com