5th and Main

“Next time,” Jayne quips, “I’m going to bring a hair-tie.”
Fingers retuck ringlets behind the curve of my ear,
illustrating the smile in her voice, intensifying my vulnerability.

Twelve years, I perched atop the kitchen stool while Mom twirled
my bird’s nest into perfect springs of silk mahogany.

My debate on the appropriateness of this sudden juxtaposition
is interrupted, her hand grasping the arm of my sweatshirt.
(I must’ve done something wrong, but I know not what.)

In a daring shift of focus, my eyes stray from our shoes
glancing up through scrunched eyebrows at Jayne,
who juts her chin towards the intersection.

The tan Ford that was about to put an awkward end
to our non-conversation continues innocently,
unaware of the nightly pleas it could’ve answered.

Her hand slides off my arm, we cross
as the Don’t Walk sign stutters
don’t, don’t go-don’t go-don’t, don’t go

Several times I have been mistaken
as her daughter,
although I am not.

Never have I been mistaken
as my mother’s daughter.
Although I am.

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