By Ava Casab (23′)
“There are so many things that could go wrong!”
Her hands are a fidgeting mess,
moving like a well-oiled machine as the muscles squeeze and contract
around padded bones
in a timely, repetitive manner.
They move tirelessly,
as if even a mere second of stillness
will throw everything into chaos.
Her fingers eventually find themselves in a rhythmic
tap tap tap
against the wooden table in front of her,
an insistent, predictable sound that quickly fades into the background.
They stop only to intertwine with her other hand,
weaving together in a scriptless dance of turns and touches,
trapped in a cycle of movement that is so natural to them
that they couldn’t stop even if she willed them to.
They twist and rub against each other in a cycle
that she is powerless to stop.
Her fingernails dig in to the soft skin of her palm,
muscles moving with a mind of their own
leaving small yet angry curved marks
that will soon fade into memory.
Her hands move with no regard for anything else,
but she’s used to it.
They have always done this-
it is simply a habit at this point.
The woman in front of her-
Mom, she corrects herself-
There is no hint of malice in the curve of her lips,
in the tiny glimpses of not-quite-white teeth poking out from under them.
It is filled with comfort and joy,
happiness and love,
life and promise.
It holds great regret
and fiery hope
at the same time.
the girls hands begin to still,
bit by bit ceasing their choreography
and settling down.
Her mom places her hands on top of the girls’,
spreading out her fingers
moving them to sit gently in the girls lap
before looking her right in the eye.
Emerald-green irises stare into warm brown ones,
a silent story of trial and tribulation unfolding in their gaze.
Harsh, but also soft,
they are there to be seen,
A sigh from the elder’s lips,
but it seems you have forgotten
about all the things that could go right.”