In the video, I am almost in
my mother's lap, but not quite.
She is holding a book with one arm
around me; I am not yet four. I struggle
to read the words, letters leading into
syllables climbing into words, I sound
it all out awkwardly, aware that there is
a camera and pretending I am not.
My mother laughs with love when I get
a whole sentence out. She is proud
as a whole mountain, and in this moment
I can believe that there was once a time,
however brief, that she loved me.