5 May 2006 | Vol. 6, No. 1

Recognizing My Mother's Hair in a Silent Film

It was the piano's stock tension just

hefting there that brought to mind

her teeth. Then the swelled O of her

surprise at seeing me; dressed nicely

in a black tie and darker suit. The frame

staggered a bit with my gait while our stare

clicked toward Wellington landing

on the Tuesday that every newsy had off.

So my mother with a story pegged from

her forehead and inked curls outlining

the sweep of her face. Murder! Murder!

He's killed another fair girl. If I had a fedora's

starched heart I'd stir a horn in the streets

to announce our bourgeois surrender. I'd

spread soot and gin tight over our pale faces

before we dive into the river and kneel.

About the author:

Formerly the fiction editor for Sycamore Review, Nicholas Reading is now an MFA poetry candidate at Virginia Commonwealth University. His poetry is forthcoming in the New Orleans Review, Sonora Review, and Zone 3.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Nicholas Reading at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 6, No. 1, where "Recognizing My Mother's Hair in a Silent Film" ran on May 5, 2006. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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