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Mama

By Emilea Huff

A porcelain rooster eyed me from the corner of my room. Mama gave it to me last year for Christmas. She said she found it in a vintage shop and that it reminded her of me, because the label on the bottom said my name in pretty blue ink. I yawned, watching the sheets crease as I wiggled my toes.

I’m wearing Mama’s old nightgown and when I stand up, my head is spinning everywhere. It’s been happening a lot lately. I have to pinch my nose because I think it works so that I don’t throw up everywhere.

I don’t have school today. I don’t ever have school when I feel sick because Auntie says that’s when I need a break from life and fourth grade. I still leave the house, though, because my room smells like laundry detergent and it’s suffocating me.

I crunched a gum wrapper when I stepped on it. Cars zoomed by. I imagined that I was a giant, and every step I took was one enormous block compared to the tiny people beneath me and I felt better. Mama used to tell me that I was small as an ant but strong as an ox.

I see a little green car and now my head is spinning again. We used to have a car like that. Mama had a fluffy keychain.

The grocery store’s little bell tinkled as I entered. Auntie called me over to the counter where I met her every morning. “Hey sweetie, how are you feeling?” she asked me, handing me a bagel. I paused, picking some of the seeds off of the bagel and flinging them into the trash. I know she asked me that because I said I was sick last night, but I really wasn’t. I was thinking about Mama and her face on my pillow and my window and my mirror but that’s because I have part of her inside me. I have her inside me and she’s everywhere and I’m sick, oh no, I’m sick.

“Still sick,” I say, because I don’t want my friends to think I’m weird for crying in the bathroom again, because Mama couldn’t pick me up from school because she was gone, gone.

Sometimes I read things about Mama. She’s in the magazines so much I can’t help but read. One of the pages is taped to my wall, behind my door. I put it there because no one sees it when they open the door. Unless you count the one time Uncle Richie saw it. I still remember the way he looked at me.

He has sad eyes now– eyes that scream he has more to say, but he can’t open his mouth.

I miss Mama. I miss her because she did my laundry extra soft and sometimes put honey in my tea. I wake up in the morning and all I can think of is that rooster crowing, and all I want is Mama’s singing.

 

Author:

Post Script is a magazine written, edited, and produced by the Creative Writing Department of Barbara Ingram School for the Arts. Through our articles, stories, poems, and the occasional lifehack, we have shared some of the things most important to us. There is a remarkable diversity of talent to be found in our students and their work, and we are unified by a common respect for that diversity. The editors and writers that make Post Script possible don’t have an end goal in sight, but instead a vision of a magazine that allows us to explore, learn, and grow. We have ventured into a new medium for self-expression and self-reflection, and hope that our art and the effort that went into this project will encourage, engage, and enlighten readers of all backgrounds.

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