Lipstick Flag
by LeighMae Provencher, MSIII


Strikingly beautiful, a mahogany-feathered bird glinting in a nest of dingy sheets, eerily enchanting.
Each slant of morning sun still lifts her face from the pillows,
Still prods her to dab bright tints onto her lips,
To greet anyone and anything that must come through the door.
Her belly swollen with murky fluid, emitting an ever growing swirl of values and ratios and positives and negatives and unspoken predictions.
She sits by the sunlit window as we crowd into her court, an unwieldy cavalry of stethoscopes and professional veneer.
A woman stands behind her, over her, and braids her cascading cloak of rich, dark hair.
They both smile expectantly, then nod patiently, and we retreat.
Carrying all our secrets with us into the hallway.