She wanted to smoke and I just wanted to be with my mother. We always walked - just down the street to the end of the block. I remember the cold, my blue coat, and that I never wore mittens - because I loved how it felt to wrap my fingers around the warm mug of hot chocolate. We always sat at the counter, across from the door that led to the kitchen. There was a small round window in the door, and beyond the glass, sitting on my stool I was just tall enough to see the tops of heads as they moved quickly across the kitchen. Sometimes the door was propped open and I could watch them, white aprons and four-covered hands. It was always the same man making the dough. I watched him like my mother watched the lit end of her cigarette, still and unspeaking - without looking away I would reach for my doughnut, take a bite, and set it down. Sometimes he would look up, and watch me, watching him. He only spoke once, You and your mom have the same blue eyes. When the kneading was doen he would clap his hands with a flourish - flour would explode from his hands, and for just a second, float in the air, before falling to the floor. Next to me, she sat unmoving, as if in repose, coffee untouched, in one hand thin fingers cradles a cigarette, the other hand splayed flat against the white formica countertop, as though she needed to feel the cool against her palm, or the stability of something sturdy and safe. I measured time in cigarette stubs, and listened to the soft slapping of dough, to the squeak of wet boots against the metal rungs of barstools while small piles of snow collected and melted slowly on the tile floor. An exhale releases smoke and my mother watches it rise to the ceiling, while circles emerge from the soft mass as we watch the man, cutter in hand, piercing the soft white dough.
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Corroborations was held at the University Libraries, The University of South Dakota, from March 7 – May 8, 2011. The Corroborations exhibition paired USD visual arts and poetry majors in order to create new collaborative work and to both broaden acceptance and appreciation of alternative art disciplines.