In the morning, I awake
to the sound of Cyndi Lauper
streaming out the bathroom door.
Mom, face-masked, chipping away

at stale-white radiator paint.
Relentless like a tide
of steady waves, washing ashore,
one after another, erasing

sole-imprints and drip-castles.
Her hair wrapped up in
a magenta and turquoise
scarf, she is the goddess of

do-it-yourself. Not like DIY.
Like the grey stain of charcoal
left on your palm after a night
of figure drawing. Like

the difference between white
and minced onion white. Like
a bouquet of hand-picked wild-
flowers on the dining-room table.

As I stand in front of the mirrored
bathroom cabinet, my face lit by the warmth
emanating from the art-deco side-lamps,
I wonder what does it mean to be

the daughter of this goddess?
I turn to look at her, squatting next
to the bathtub, scraping. The answer:
I grab a knife and start to chip away.