• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 12
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Dear Mom

I used to write poems with crayon on scrap paper and fold the edges until wings grew and a sharp needle to pierce air emerged. If I stood on a chair and aimed it just right, it would sail up toward the ceiling and then spiral down the stairs to land in the hallway.

Sometimes a gusty wind swept these airmail letters out the door where camouflaged among dry leaves or drowned in rain puddles, their poems were never read. Those that landed safely, you stuck to the fridge with magnets, souvenirs from the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, the Florida Everglades, the San Diego Zoo.

Older, I replaced those magnets with airplane tickets to faraway places—Mexico, England, France, Argentina, Spain. Like my paper gliders, I left you behind. I imagined you stuck like the magnets you still collected from your occasional flights to favorite destinations but always spiraling your way home.

I learned to lick stamps, found where they put the mailboxes, but still I forgot to write you. The stationery with lavender fringes and a faint hint of lilacs was tossed away in a drawer to clear the desk for work papers, printer, computer. Once the perfume faded, the lavender sheets served for lists, shopping and errands.

What a fanciful airplane one of these lavender sheets might have made, if I had allowed myself to be a child again, if I had written you then, when the world stretched between us like a faded postcard caught under a magnet, calling me home?

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