He only drew squares, and eventually his mother
knelt down by the coffee table,
took his small hand in hers,
and guided the pencil in the shape of a
roughly female silhouette.
There, she said, a person.
Don’t you want to draw people?
Mummy would like you to draw her
very much.

But the boy shook his head.
Instead he grabbed a handful
of crayons
and haphazardly filled out the shape in different colours.
This is you, he said quietly,
pointing at the hues of the mosaic.
This is when you’re happy,
and upset, and tired, and sad.

His mother looked at him and sighed, saying, I feel sad now.
All I want is for you to draw me,
as a memory.
She stood up and walked away.
The boy didn’t know what to think
and crossed out what she’d forced him to trace.
Because what did his mother’s
have to do with her?

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