portion of the artwork for Jennifer Finstrom's poetry

Twin Story
Jennifer Finstrom

Outside of the Cardiovascular Critical Care Unit, where my mother’s organs are failing,
my aunt is telling a story. She is my mother’s twin, and even my father hasn’t heard
in this much detail how in high school she and my mother switched places during exams,
my mother taking the French exam twice and my aunt doing the same with geometry.
I imagine my mother, afraid to look up from her conjugations, identity surfacing in her eyes
like a hooked fish. And while we know that there is no place-switching now that would keep
my mother safe, we like the image of two girls in identical skirts and sweaters, and we see them
in front of the mirror that morning, working hard to diminish the last difference between them.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 41 | Summer 2013