Her Lap

by John Randolph Carter

I’m complaining again about the time
my mother went to France and left
me alone with the stewardess.

I was only ten but she made me feel
like thirteen and wonder about sheer
silk stocking and garter belts and how
to unfasten a bra.

She would take me on her airplane and
I would sit by the window in First Class
and stare out at the landscape of clouds
and down at the wrinkled mountains.
She would bring me a steaming bowl
of cream of wheat with brown sugar
and a melting tab of butter and sit beside me
and stroke my thigh and I spooned it in.

At night she would read to me from
Playboy magazine as I lay in my
pajamas with my head in her lap
and then would switch off the lamp
and the moonlight would stream
in the window and project
strange shadows on the wall.

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