THE BOY WHOSE MOTHER LEFT

BY YASH SEYEDBAGHERI

I’m the guy whose mother left. In gym, they remind me, their words a chant. She didn’t love you.

In church, sitting with my older sister Nancy, we catch snatches of conversation. Dreamer. Unfit mother.

Images rise to my mind: Dark wit, contracting temper, triggered by a loose dish or something else. She had me read Yates and Cheever, said they captured discontentment with family well. Said the husbands were all assholes in the stories.

She never spoke of love.

So I concoct stories, wield words. Mother’s a secret royal, a spy battling Communists. She’s been kidnapped, even.

Lies trump uncertainty.