by cheri block
Queen Joan, too, was readying herself to move, one last time.
She adjusted her crown, tipping it back a bit for balance and appointment.
She valued balance since her body had lost it 15 years ago in a virulent attack by an assertive virus.
Her crown’s positioning she could control, so she lifted her little chin upward, rested on her walker by the sink, and primped.
What did she see in her mirror? She wasn’t sure, this morning.
Who was that tiny woman with boundless determination trying to survive in a body and mind that were wearing out.
She leaned in toward her mirror, confused about the reflection.
One moment, when the mirror bordered the medicine cabinet, she saw an old face, one strained by pain but buttressed by faith. In it, her lips moved nervously in anticipation of the big day ahead. The large ruby in the center of her crown sparkled, reminding her that Queens must be leaders, despite all pain.
Suddenly, her mirror trumpeted a royal tune (she jumped at the announcement!) transforming itself into a shiny diamond shape, bounded by a cobalt blue and gold rococo frame. The medicine bottles, formerly lined up by the sink like hostage negotiators, obediently took to the air, exited the bathroom (as if ordered by Peter Pan himself), flew out the window, and plummeted into the trash bin below.
Then, the trombones involved themselves in the magic. The deep tenor blast rocketed the plastic seat in the shower straight out the door (almost hitting Queen Joan in the back), followed by the cyclonic exodus of ointments and salves, vitamins and supplements, cochlear implants and batteries.
What did she see in her mirror now?
She was absolutely positive she saw the real Joan.
She adjusted her crown, brushed her beautiful white teeth, winked in the mirror (which winked back) and readied herself for the move to the mound.