Heart Strings

On rainy days,
my mother hums along
with old songs on the radio
and dances in the kitchen.
Sometimes I drum the beat
with wooden spoons on pots and pans,
louder than the thunder.
When I say we’ve had enough
of this humming-drumming-dancing,
she rummages in the “miracle” drawer
of matchbooks and broken crayons
and empty spools and a million miles
of string wrapped in a ball
as bumpy as planet Earth.
She cuts a length of twine
and knots the ends just so,
then begins the heart-strings of cat’s cradle,
her fingers singing soundless music.
I pluck the pattern with my fingertips
and slide the song from her hands
to mine. Sometimes we tangle
these webs of thread and air,
and our laughter is brighter
than the lightning.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Taia Morley