for my mother
I coloured in a dinosaur, at
the age of ten.
I selected five careful pencils and
put them all in a row.
Sharpened. The heads of fences.
I gave him silver claws, and a
dark green body. The colour oozed
into the page.
After an hour I had carved him
into a story, into my mind.
The teacher wafts around the
room, stacking reptiles into
an old palm.
A few days later the news broke.
I won the competition. My mother
chortled her praise, while she cooked
with a bent back.
I dreamed of art lessons
I won. Excited and curious. (I think
it was the silver claws that did it.)
I never collected my prize. I still
blame my mother. Only now I see
her lack of hands with two boys
bubbling in the house.
I wonder what she did to breath
back then. I think it was the piano.
I rocked in my dreams.
My mother stroked the keys, because
it cooled her head down.
It was her language.