2,350 miles

By: Lee Harris
Photo Credit: Creative Commons

my english teacher brought me to tears today.

our class gathered on the rug

located in the heart of the room,

and began reading a dr. seuss book.

the lesson was centered around

the hidden messages

kept in the limericks

of a children’s book.

this was not why i was crying.

as my teacher raised her arm

to display the colorful,

and unrealistic,

images in the thin hardcover novel.

a lump grew in my throat.

this feeling


to fingernails

attempting to find their way

out of my neck.

my mind had wandered back to when

my mother,

2,350 miles away

addicted to making empty promises,

and half-efforts,

had once done the same for me.

the memories

of how the figures she gave unique voices,

who resembled potatoes,

made me giggle.

I remember the nights

we made our own books,

coloring and sketching each character,

pulling a story from the thicker parts of the air,

and binding each page

with the remaining dynamics

that survived

the flood of PPD,

and staples.

this was our definition of mother and daughter.

my english teacher brought me to tears today.

because in those few moments,

legs crossed,

imagination pouring from my cranium

to my heart,

i felt my mother’s presence.

then i felt her leave

all over again.

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