Your handwriting danced
like a tipsy hieroglyph.
Birthday cards, signed books, paperwork
decorated by impatient smudges.
Mama is our only Rosetta Stone.
Like all the best translators,
she has her secrets to nurture
and her secrets to conjure.
Your handwriting reminds
me of the greasy fingerprints
crowding your crystal wine glass,
anxious moths around a lantern.
Still young, as I helped clear
the table after the adults left
my fingers would not quite
match the trail left by your hands.
Mama still says
I hold a glass like you,
but thank goodness
my handwriting is different.