Vassar Student Review

Vassar Student Review

Silver Lining

By Molly Manafo

(noun) a consoling or hopeful prospect.

Mom says my heart’s got a silver lining,
Says God sewed it together herself and
Stitched in so much love that the sadness wouldn’t fit.
Hope is the thing
That fills my heart up, that
Shines like aluminum foil, uncrumpled and smooth.

Silver: (noun) sweetness of my soul;
(adj.) color of rain caught in the Big Dipper.

For Christmas last year, Mom bought Dad
New bedsheets and comforter made
With feathers.
In my head, Dad rips the blanket open
At the seams and the feathers fly out,
A tornado of down
Floating up to the ceiling.

At nighttime, Dad says, God drapes purple velvet
Over the earth and we call it the night sky
Then God pokes holes in the fabric
And we call them the stars.
He puts away the fairy book on my shelf;
I wait for Mom to pick me up.

On nights when Mom drives me home,
The moon follows me in the backseat
And when I fall asleep with my check pressed 
Against the cold window, I dream
About God disconnecting the constellations
And erasing Orion’s belt,
Leaving the moon a bright circle
In a very long darkness.

Lining: (verb) bringing warmth;
(noun) taste of sugar in my stomach and pink frosting on my lips.

Mom tucks me in and gives me a hug,
Leaving me warm with the sound of breath against my skin
But after she shuts the door tight, I sneak out
Across the floorboards to look out the window.
I stare at the distance, unfocusing my eyes
On blurry spots in the sky I let slide out
from themselves and over one another —
Swirling smudges of light.

I gather myself like a cloud,
Water droplets in my inner sky gleaming
Silver at the lining.

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