The Effects of Charm School

By Dianne Moritz

Skipping home that afternoon, I stopped to catch a glimpse of a stranger in the deli’s plate-glass window: teased hair, lips painted fuchsia pink, tweezed eyebrows penciled black — a new me!

I struck a pose and sauntered on.

Mother was waiting. “What have you done?” she cried. “Your father’s legacy. Ruined! Go wash your face.”

That night, I found that single photograph hidden inside her Sinatra LP, brought my dictionary to bed. Legacy?? I gazed into my father’s eyes, ran a finger down his straight nose, across his bushy brows. I fell asleep, my perfect, sculpted lips pressed lightly to his.

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Dianne writes poetry and picture books for kids from her home in Southampton, NY.  Her father left the family when she was a toddler. She never saw him again.

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