I am the daughter
my mother never
wanted. Trust was an illusion,
how the painting of a blue bowl
isn’t a bowl of blue flowers.
She twisted rags into my straight hair,
insisting on curls. I made a kite
with sticks I never had, with nails
I couldn’t find, with rags from my hair.
I became a kite, riding wind high
until I was nothing, a speck
tracing the river to the mouth
of the sea. I didn’t need
to paint the river. The river I could trust.