Taurus: My Taurus Mama by Francine Witte

“I have decided to become a Scorpio,” my Taurus mama says. “Scorpios,” she whispers, “are lucky in love.”

No one knows better than me that lucky in love’s not a thing. Still, I am going to have to break this down to its bones.

First, I tell her, you can’t just spin the zodiac. Take me, for example, a Capricorn trying to climb the same old goaty mountain. I am thinking here of Charley who hasn’t called me in a week. I can’t just turn into a Pisces. If I could, I’d swim away.

“Besides,” I say, “you like your late-April birthday, all daffodils and green.”

She wanders her eyes to the ceiling. “When your daddy left,” she finally says, “it took the fight right outta me. Now, when I meet a man, he takes one look and runs.”

I can see the girl in my Mama’s face, all lipquiver and tears forming up. She is the me I’m gonna be someday, so we gotta set this right.

I tell her she is being the matador instead of the bull. I tell her, you were born Taurus, all snarly and hoof scrape and that’s all you can ever be.

“Take me,” I say for another example. “My Capricorn self all introvert and shy. I woulda been happy to stay in your womb, but it was you who pushed me out.”

She looks at me straight on, the fierce coming back to her eyes, her nostrils about to flare.

Francine Witte’s poetry and flash fiction have appeared in Wigleaf, Mid-American Review, Lost Balloon, Stonecoast Review, Moon Candy Review, and many others. Her latest books are Dressed Wrong for All This, (Flash,) The Theory of Flesh (Poetry,) and The Way of the Wind (novella.) She lives in NYC.

Vintage burlesque dancer wearing horns standing next to a vase
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