Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Fingerprints

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Fingerprints smudge windows, blur clarity of glass, mar views, life, my certainty that winter trees are exactly what they seem - roots, trunks, empty branches spread across empty skies.
Until you stop my cloth from wiping them off.

Now, with a flick of fingers, prints adorning windows become impossible flowers, spiral-winged butterflies, a dog's loopy smile, lush summer leaves.

A piece of carpet becomes a cloud or a boat sailing on a lake that once was a water spill damaging my floors.

Pebbles fallen from shoes, cluttering my foyer, become a queen's necklace, intricate, beaded with bits of mud, designed with a jeweler's care. Breadcrumbs on my table become pointillist paintings of a rabbit's ears, or a cat's whiskered nose. Dust, persistent, dirtying my dresser, becomes a canvas for your shadow art, your elaborate swirls.

A scratched steel pot that I forgot to throw out is now a container for treasures and unknown pleasures. When I ask, what is inside? you show me my face caught in the pot, smiling in its hollows.

Outside my window, winter trees gleam, silhouetted by a sky full of silver.


Shubha Venugopal has two beautiful children– a toddler daughter and an infant son. She will soon be moving with her children and her husband to Los Angeles to teach at the California State University, Northridge. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Michigan and works as an Assistant Professor of Literature. She is also currently completing her M.F.A. in fiction at Bennington College. Her works have appeared or are upcoming in elimae, Eclectica, Mslexia, Kalliope, Women Writers, and Boston Literary Magazine. Most of her works in these journals appear, or will appear, online.


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