Did mothers know
about the schemes of children
about the secret places,
about smoking cigarettes,
about climbing slippery high rocks
on a foggy day,
about cooking periwinkles in rusty cans,
prying them out with rusty nails,
and savoring them with our unborn palates?

Did mothers know
about stories shared,
about tears shed over going home?
Did they know we were
blood sisters and brothers?

Did mothers know
of our parallel lives,
one where we sat at the table,
eating fried hot dogs and chips,
the other, running with friends
along winding paths
into familiar places,
like Fairyland,
the deep crevice at schoolhouse,
the special stoop at Lobster Cove,
the kissing place facing Manana?

Did they know of our world?
The world of reality,
of facing fears
like heights, snakes and walks home
without moonlight, where the wind
made the shadows dance.

Did mothers know
how brilliant our lives were,
with selling seashells,
making things out of nothing,
making each other faint,
turning kelp to dresses,
and starfish into hats,
and seaweed into hair,
and life into magic?

Daphne Stern