Small hands vs. curling iron

When my hands were small, I clutched
the wand of my mother’s
curling iron, plucked from atop
the deep freezer on Madden Drive.
I held it to see how long it took
before I had to cry out in pain– I
smelled burning hot dogs, flesh
turning red but not yet black.
My palm was cold, no pain, but
something told me to release, to drop
it on my toes. When I stepped back,
I heard my mother in the kitchen
calling to me as one does to check
on a silent two year old. I cried
against my will, triumphant yet defeated
as my mother’s hurried footsteps approached.

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