some just lie there crying for him to come and find them & W1L 024: Write one leaf about your mother.

I'd tell you what I did while I was wearing this outfit, but I don't remember because it was such a long time ago. (It was Spenser's birthday, actually.)

I'm on a horse.

There's a horse on my shirt.

There's a pasty Englishman's torso Daniel Radcliffe on my shirt.

Or maybe a horse.

Granny cardigan: secondhand, gift. Elven Brooch: Noble Collection LotR merchandise. Equus t-shirt: gift. Rings: estate sale + Rapunzelsgold on etsy. Jeans: mother's + scissors. Tights: generic. Boots: Steven by Steve Madden.

For anyone who's been reading... I'm going to run out of Write One Leaf responses soon because I can't write as quickly as I'm posting them. (I'm stuck on #34, which is the same one I got stuck on last time I tried to do this...) Here's one about my mum, because Daniel Radcliffe's pasty torso/the horse on my Equus t-shirt combined with my Elven Brooch make me an honorary Brit.

W1L 024: Write one leaf about your mother.

This is an unedited version of my original response to this prompt... written when the bridge toll was still $4.

Mama who bore me,

No matter how crepey the skin on your neck gets, or how deeply the crinkles at the corners of your eyes are creased, or how much your muffin top overfloweth, to me, part of you will always be

a) soft hands, so much bigger than mine, one half of the pair that hoisted me into the air between two towering adult bodies on whose arms I swung like human monkey bars, and a pinky to hold on to walking through the blur of vegetables in plastic bags and fire hydrants and elbows that is four-year-old Chinatown

b) the feet that I sat on when I was tired of walking

c) the belly my head fit on, fell asleep on, the one that fit my brother too, and the calming rise and fall of your breathing

d) The Rainbow Fish with strange melodic Cantonese-English intonation and different voices for each character and the anticipation of being tickled when it was time for Rainbow Fish to give away his shiny scales

e) that woman who rose before the sun every morning to make me and my brother sandwiches for lunch, the soothing voice that came to me in my sleep before it was light outside to wake me up for six o’clock flights, or school, my baby blanket worn as a cape in the backseat on the way to my grandma’s house in the perennial soccer-mom minivan I watched drive away every morning, and whose older brother drove me and my older brother to school

f) the burrito-cocoon blanket foot-tuck

g) ears that heard me awake, silent, and terrified of mummies, or the clown from It, or burglars who would come and inflate my grandma with helium and then pop her with a needle, in the middle of the night from the next room over, and your bed and the warmth of your hands on my frozen feet

h) a sealed envelope with a check for my mail-order books, the enormity of my appetite for which was rivaled only by my penchant for unsharpened pencils with cheesy designs

i) a Tupperware with dividers separating my rice, steamed vegetables, and steak, because of your fear of my iron deficiency and period-triggered heart problems, and a week of slenderizing salad before prom

j) walking into the dining room to a table surrounded by my cousins and laden with roast lamb chops, five kinds of Thai curry, unagi, lemon bars, sour oranges, and a Swedish princess cake

k) being driven around the city to pick up free things off the street, and being able to offer my friends rides in a car I couldn’t drive myself, and waking up before seven on Saturdays to make it to the Farmer’s Market or garage sales to make treasure of someone else's trash

l) the bottle of Burberry London on my dresser that smells like school dances, romantic encounters, school presentations, AP tests, final exams, performances, and disbelief at the undeserved fortune of having a mother so indulgent in my fifteen-year-old conviction that Junior Prom was of such import for my Coming Into Adulthood that it was imperative to smell like a twenty-four-year-old professional

m) the four single ones you always have ready in your wallet to pay the bridge toll to take me home, and the “of course” that I have never had to be afraid of not hearing when I want to leave school to eat my grandma’s cooking and be surrounded by adults and be covered with a blanket when I fall asleep on my homework

n) that expression that always made me laugh, when you wondered how on earth you came to have this little girl with such a foul mouth and enormous speaking presence and words strung together like peach-pink pearls on a necklace that should be worn with dignity and gravity and humility and above all, pride
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