The End of Make-Believe
Of course I had my doubts,
but when no one was looking
I’d pretend to be a tightrope walker,
The Great Farini, crossing
Niagara Falls with a man on my back.
I used to tell strangers I was a boy
and to prove it would skip rocks,
make them soar exquisitely between
each momentary touchdown.
But since my mother died
and the paperwork declared
what I’d get in the urn would be
someone else along with my mother,
and not all of my mother, I’ll never
ever try to make things up again.
Recipient of 2014 Maxwell C. Weiner Distinguished Chair in Humanities at Missouri University, Charlotte Matthews is author of two full length collections: Still Enough to Be Dreaming and Green Stars. She lives in Crozet, Virginia with her husband, two kids, a dog and a hive of honey bees.