When I Opened My Mouth to Sing

By: Anna George

Dust spattered out and I wondered

for a second if I was dead.

It would happen here, on a

bowing stage where I’d lived,

breathed,

lost.

But the dust floats to the ground.

Glittering gowns and sheen tuxes

stare up at me

and I smile.

I laugh.

I cry for joy,

which I have not held in my

weak, porcelain palms in

decades.

Centuries,

if you look at my

mother and hers before her.

Look at their brown eyes,

dark locks,

dainty, broken smiles.

But I hold the lost treasure in my hands.

It looks nothing like sequins,

piano keys,

sharpened stilettos.

It looks like the little bird

my mother imagined me as.

 

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