Dressed In Red
Dressed in Red
The tapping of her scarlet
fills the family room.
Her radiant red
the faded gray shapes
of objects surrounding her.
from just outside the door
follows her coal black eyes.
Glimpsing at the art
attached to the wall
she halts her steps,
ambling toward a conflicting frame.
Unlike the others,
neat rows of traditional prints—
drummers, dancers, and artists—
the family portrait
scarcely hangs onto the wall.
The left side of her faint red lip
as she observes the smiling faces
trapped in the photograph.
Her aura breathes “vile stepmother”
but her attire screams “fleeting lover.”
As I watch from my post
in the black shadows,
my father saunters toward her
and embraces her pear-like body.
He pecks her red lips,
and rests his head on her neck.
It is a scene so natural and tender,
yet it has failed with my mother.
I close my eyes to them
and imagine my mother coming home
later that night.
With rehearsed countenance
she will imprison my father
in her arms.
She will hold him, and hold him,
for our validation of the embrace.
Detecting a lipstick blemish,
she will discreetly scold my father
advising him to be
in the children’s presence.
I open my eyes and see
the color drained from the room,
the portrait still crooked
on the wall.