Mama Loves Birds

by Linda Simoni-Wastila

Mama loves birds but is afraid to fly. She rests now, secure with her crooked smile, the whorls of her thumb print, her cigarettes and Pep-O-Mint lifesavers, quilts and romances, morphine and x-rays, her hollowed bones. The pilot swoops closer to the leaping waves. The wind shifts, and she takes wing, fire-polished ash.