Before Bed

If you look at a mirror in the dark, you see the devil’s face.
-My best friend, Diane, at 13

Son Number Three
Sitting beside the washbasin resisting squirming
and I have to brush his teeth because (the dentist says)
children under the age of ten, or is it six I forget now, do not have the necessary manual dexterity and I have
l o s t
my patience is
maybe it’s in the milk carton
like the toothbrush I once found there, or
in the shampoo bottle with that stick of celery, or
stuck in the toilet’s throat with the tennis ball (the father had to take the whole thing apart, that time) yes, that must be where it is tonight, what little patience I was born
with, and I just, I just
want them all to go to sleep
I want to maybe
just eat a bowl of ice cream
while reading the newspaper

And as he spits peppermint paste
I look at the mirror and see
The devil’s face

Cheng I Sao (detail) by Jennifer Marlow

Cheng I Sao (detail) by Jennifer Marlow. Photo by Robert George Young.

About Anne Levesque

Anne Lévesque is a Cape Breton writer whose work has appeared in Canadian and international journals and anthologies. She is the mother of four sons.

About Jennifer Marlow

Jennifer Marlow holds a BA in Music from Dalhousie University. She discovered her woodcarving skills thirty miles off the coast of Massachusetts on the island of Nantucket and returned to her native Nova Scotia to open her own workshop. She more of Jennifer's work on her website.

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