Published in The Griffin Literary Journal


It’s only on very rare days that she remembers my face. “Charlotte,” my mother calls out to me as soon as I walk in her bedroom. And then it hits me like a car crash, because she knows me, for the first time in years. I give in. My knees go weak, and I grab the counter as I’m falling.

“Mom!” The words tumble out of me, and I can’t quite catch my breath. I clumsily make my way over to her. “What are you doing up?” Today, she’s impatient, sitting on the edge of her bed as if she’s been waiting for me for hours. She’s in a faded tangerine dress, applying mauve lipstick. I can’t believe my eyes.

For months, she’d lain in this grave of a bed, unstirred and unaware as I brushed her hair and changed the flowers on the windowsill.

Read the full story here (PDF – see page 49)