by Julianza (Julie) Kim Shavin
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Rated "PG" by the Author.
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Perhaps a bit overly-sentimental, but a true story. Dedicated to Anne Rager and her mother, Jean Rager. An experiment, too, with metaphor: circles and camera. See if it works. We now know that under-the-eye shadows, if not from lack of sleep, are something as simple as food allergy.
Her mother obsessed over the dark semi-circles
under Annie's eyes, when she was three, seven, ten.
She'd never get a man.
The shadows show in every picture taken
of a child otherwise happy. At thirty, agile with
make-up, Annie resembled Marilyn Monroe.
Soon after, cancer led to surgeries, a wired jaw,
and Annie's head ballooned to twice its size.
My mother advised, don't fly in. It's too scary.
She also said that, though comatose, Annie's eyes
opened and closed briefly, when her mother's watch
chimed a tune at each hour. Even that scared me.
Not that she could see or focus --
Her lids fluttered for only a second,
like a camera shutter.
Just before her 42nd birthday, while a nurse
washed the lovely blond hair in a basin,
Annie shuddered, and was gone.
Leaning over her only daughter, a huge hulk
of woman encircled the wasted body,
her face a collapsed black box.
Copyright Julianza Shavin 2009