KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 2: Winter 2015
Poem: 161 words

A Gift from My Mother

by Chanel Brenner
I told my son not to eat the Huichol egg,
tiny bright beads, hand glued on Styrofoam,
a gift from my mother.

He snuck it into his room, shut the door.
Emerged, big grin on his face, 
chomping the beads like glass chewing gum.

Fear swept across my face
like a power outage during a storm.
He started to cry—

I fished the beads from his mouth,
instructed him to spit—
cry, spit, cry. 

I scrubbed the fragments from his molars, 
and rinsed his mouth with water from a Dixie cup, 
decorated with a fish.   

Poison Control reassured me
the adhesive wasn’t toxic.
The beads would pass through him.

But, what about my anxiety?
Will it pass through him too? 
Or stick, and scar 

like a glass shard,
a barbed fish hook. 
Or maybe, it will adhere like glue,

my mother’s, and grandmother’s anxiety, 
viscous layers inside me,
a gift I’ve already passed to my son.

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