Ribbon of all colors,
and all widths. Every conceivable shade.
Deep violets always catch her
eye first, instead of the more vibrant
yellows she knows Mama loves best.
Without asking, Maria wanders
in when Mama is out hanging
newly washed sheets on the line,
individual family talismans, waving gently
to become sun-dried and stone warm.
The dogs bark from three houses down
and Maria grabs four arm lengths of silken fabric.
Her stupid fumbling fingers
insist on failing her.
Come fall she won’t need to hide
under sheets or between bolts
to love the way she wants.
What’s left in the creek bed will freeze
and the room door will be wide open.
Mama won’t come in with a sandal in hand
burning redness in her eyes. An intensity
that Maria knows as normal.
For now the ribbon is something to focus on.
Damien Munoz lives in central Pennsylvania and tutors writing for a living. He can be found on Twitter @cloudchaimber.

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