Fiction: excerpt from an impromptu writing class

Note: This poem is result of a skill-share creative writing class. The prompt was “first day of school”. During the writing of this piece the facilitators would shout out words that we were to incorporate into our stories/poems.

Eyes shiny & bright,
full of energy
& highly caffeinated,
your mom has tears in her eyes,
you are the baby,
flying the nest,
even though this is your second year away.

She insists on helping
even though you never asked for help;
secretly you are glad she is there,
she makes sure you open your boxes
& make your bed.
She places 2 shekel on your windowsill,
“for good luck” she says
but you may never understand
the hunger in Africa,
those 2 years she worked in orphanages,
splitting pots of porridge meant for 5
between 15 hungry mouths.
Before she leaves
she sits you down &
gives you that talk you’ve heard
a million times before,
to always “wash your hands
& watch for snakes.”
She stands in your doorway,
shakes her head
& asks
if you really want to study
Eastern philosophy
but she doesn’t really need your answer
because she gives you a hug
like she will never see you again
& as you gently peel her fingers from your shoulders
you reminder  her you are not going to your death
& you will see her in November.

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