Self Portrait In Mother’s Shoes
by Gabriel Bass

It wasn’t wrong because they were her heels
but because they weren’t mine,
mother said when she found me
tramping around in her bedroom.
I liked the sound more than the look
of them. There is nothing like that
click in an empty hallway—
lives are measured between
those footfalls. I didn’t know
it wasn’t normal, that there were words
for it, or why mother looked
sad and told me to go outside—play.
I was too high up in those shoes,
too close to her eyes
wetter than normal.

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 23, Issue 1.

Gabriel Lee Bass (he/she/they) is a queer poet from Arkansas. Their work has appeared in journals including Into the Void Magazine, Argot, and others. She also has interviews forthcoming in New Masses, as well as the Cheat River Review blog, where she serves as the current media editor. He has been nominated for an AWP Intro Journals Award and received first prize in the Jeannie Dolan Carter Memorial Poetry Contest. They are currently an MFA candidate in poetry at West Virginia University.

See all items about Gabriel Bass

Visit Gabriel Bass’s contributors page.

Leave a Reply