my mother told a thousand lies in exchange for a miracle and a half. a son and a daughter, a prodigy and a laugh. it’s not the disappointment that killed her, but the consistent nagging of shame. a quiet whisper in the church pew, a muffled sorry from the back. i’d like to imagine there were times when she was proud of my scraped knees and blistered lips. that they made sense amongst the empty eyes of people who passed her in the street, endlessly tiring for something just out of their grasp. that the crescendo of sadness which filled the tiny spaces in her heart, could be resolved by my quiet resignation and whispered apologies. desperate pleas for forgiveness and a sharp cry of love from my heart. my mother told a thousand lies in exchange for a miracle and a half. good things get broken but bad things are rotten from the start.