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,



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



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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