Stories

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“Mama, tell me a story.”

Last night I put my hand on your chest and felt your heart beating, frantic with nightmare. My touch soothed you and you slept on peacefully. I wished then that all the moments of your life would be so beautiful.

“Mama, tell me a story.”

When you were tiny, your brother told you stories. He sat by your cradle with a book he did not yet know how to read and made up worlds. They always had a brave boy and lots of dinosaurs.

“Mama, tell me a story.”

When your brother was tiny, he slept little and ate often. Sometimes in the stillness of the wee hours, I would cry, whether from beauty or exhaustion I could not say.

“Mama, tell me a story.”

Once upon a time, your mama lived in a big city and rode a train and a bus every day. There was a park she loved, and a tea shop, and a bookstore. One restaurant had the most amazing dried cherry wontons on its cheese plate.

“Mama, tell me a story.”

When I was little, there was a grove of mountain laurel behind my house. It had shops and bookstores and houses and streets that only I could see. I still go there in my dreams.

“Mama, tell me a story.”

When I was tiny, my mother placed her hand on my chest, feeling my heart race from nightmares. Her touch soothed me and I slept on peacefully. She wished then that all my moments would be so beautiful.

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