The Eternal Matriarch
Templeton Secondary School
It's a strange sight to see on a Sunday night.
My mother and I on the couch
eating crushed glass from a bowl that sits
on the cushion between us.
We take turns reaching long fingertips
to scoop up open shards and
swallow them through lips
We never touch.
We never will again.
It is a dance best performed
with no one watching.
Two generations of blood
sit still for long enough that
the rough love couch molds itself into us, so
we will be remembered
as a pair of far-fetched bodies in
My tongue becomes a
with nothing to distract itself from
how lonely it is in maternal silence.
Time goes on.
Our desperate, reaching fingers are
no longer an act of movement,
but an act of staying solid enough for touch
to still be a thing to avoid.
Years pass on this Sunday night.
I get up first and leave quietly
out the back door.
She doesn't ask when I'll be home.
In some small corner of my mind,
I hear her humming,
listening to Joni Mitchell
while she washes up.
The Eternal Matriarch is gushing with gore. “My mother and I on the couch eating crushed glass” infuses a sense of discomfort in the reader that intensifies as the piece unfolds.
Claire Dooley is a 17-year-old student at Templeton Secondary School in Vancouver, Canada. She will be graduating in 2020. Writing is one of her greatest passions. She loves being able to show people what the inside of her brain looks like.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR