Word Count 197
By Sharon Collins
The dreamscape rises each night with the moon. Stretched taut before me, a twisted cable of glistening steel, a tightrope of denial spans an abyss, an endless, echoing emptiness of abandonment. Behind me, riveted iron gates, a hundred stories tall, shudder against the surging flood of disbelief they barely contain. I pray before I step, “Please, wind, not tonight. Please, lock, keep the gates closed. Please, God, let me make it across…let me get to the other side…don’t let me remember.. but I do.
Medium Dunkin, hot– cream, no sugar;
A sapphire blue turtleneck;
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…
Each memory an unexpected gust of wind, a harsh slap in the face to send me flailing. Each, a cold key, inserted and twisted, like a knife in the back, to unlock the floodgates of grief and sweep me away. !” I realize she was my long-pole, my center of gravity. With her, I needed no net. Without her, I have lost my balance.
Arms flung wide and toes curled tight, I inch along. Halfway, I stop, look up, and cry, “Look Mom, No Hands!”
As I fall, I acknowledge that mourning has come.