Perihelion: An Online Journal of Poetry and Mayhem
The Santa Cruz Issue
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Susan Reddington

Kaleidoscope

 

Wild from waiting for
standstill traffic to stir,
I check rearview mirror,
recoil to see Father in me:
the terse purse of lips,
blistering bonfire eyes,
to hear his acid-edged tone
in my muttered blasphemes.

At three a.m., worries eat,
like maggots, furtively at sleep.
My forehead furrows, anxious
like Mother’s, like her mother’s
as she downed Milltowns
with bourbon, chain smoker,
before electric shock.

I see myself in my twin:
both brooms bewitched
by the Sorcerer’s Apprentice,
compelled to tote water
from the well, despite waves
which crash about, cursed
by parents to be perfect.

Chips of broken glass,
tumbled in a kaleidoscope
which create colored,
changing patterns,
genetic scraps of family,
indelibly encoded
into being.