The Effects of Charm School


By Dianne Moritz

That afternoon, I glimpsed a stranger in the deli’s plate-glass window: teased hair, lips painted fuchsia pink, eyebrows penciled black — a new me!

I posed, then sauntered on.

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

Later, I stole that single photograph hidden inside a Sinatra album, brought my dictionary to bed. Legacy?? I gazed into my father’s eyes, ran a finger down his nose, across bushy brows. I fell asleep, his perfect lips pressed lightly to my own.

Dianne Moritz seeks understanding of her troubled relationship with her mother. She writes poetry and picture books for children since retiring from teaching in inner city Los Angeles.

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