How My Mother Posed Me

A Victorian baby portrait with the mother hidden under a blanket behind the subject.The photographer instructs my mother to hide under the dark maroon blanket to hold her infant still. “It takes time and quiet for your darling to be perfect,” he says. In all of his portraits, she sees that nothing disguises the shape of the mothers, the way the cloth narrows at their heads, the taut geometry of their laps. Regardless, she lets him cover her and cradles my body through cotton. Loose threads stroke her face. She sweats throughout the lengthy shot, laboring in the darkness to aid the wonder of permanence, holding her breath to become inanimate for love.






Gary Fincke‘s new collection of flash is The Corridors of Longing (Pelekinesis, 2022). He is co-editor of the annual anthology Best Microfiction.

Photo credit: Unknown (public domain)

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