letter to my mother

Lisa Toboz

I dream about you a lot since you’ve been gone. Usually you seem very real, and the things you do in them are things you would have done if you were still alive. Like in one dream, you booked a room at some crappy motel next to a broken-down Ferris wheel, and Kristy, Fred and I had to scramble for money to get us all out of there and home. Or another time, you spent all the vacation money on souvenirs, so we couldn’t enjoy the rest of our trip. Why are you so irresponsible? I said, as if I were talking exasperated to a child. I have to remind myself, even now, that you were a grown woman, my mother.

But last night’s dream was different. I was standing at the top of the stairs of an old house. I heard knocking at the front door and peered down to see a man waiting for me to open it. I couldn’t see his face, but you were standing in the corner looking incredibly sad. Mummy, I said, and I panicked because you were disappearing. That’s not mummy, that’s a man at the door, Kristy said somewhere behind me. I was the only one who knew you were there.

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