Mother hardly seemed to be in the house
but more snoring a song of herself
all down the hallways and under the covers
where nothing was adding enough
attention to her.
Half-brother and I crawled the floor
looking for cereal bits or dried clumps of ramen
to take in our bow-shaped mouths.
She laid us down for a nap if she was tired,
climbed the ship of slumber to an island
of mirrors and microphones until
she screamed herself in place of all of us,
until every move or note filled her
with more of her, a black-haired tornado
swallowing all the air.
Meanwhile our imaginations grew narrow
as her nail beds, only able to fall a spiral
down her reflection, a mirror facing
the same mirror, facing the mirror,
facing the mirror.
* From “Virginia Mines: The Mascara Series,” by David Berman