My Mother and the Cardinal

Monica Rico

According to my mother I make everything up. I don’t

know if she likes me when I call her by her first name.

She picks too many strawberries.

I try to eat them all

caked in sugar,

the white bowl blush.

My mother in a sheer blouse

is beautiful, I think

I can’t be hers.

She says, Birds can talk,

pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty.

I can always spot a cardinal,

his red head and black mask.

My mother made her own wings

from an eye pencil, drove her mother mad.

The cardinal loved her,

even when she followed my father to work.

If he hadn’t died,

my feathers would be red.


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