Mother wanted the girl upstairs to get on the scale, she said she wanted to see the high numbers she thought we were stupid, she said we could get on the scale together as if in third grade we’d never heard of subtraction. We could have been friends but my mother kept pushing and I couldn’t think of anything that would save her. Mother sat on the toilet, I sat on the edge of tub the girl stood at the sink. Mother had placed the scale in the middle of the grey bathroom mother could guess the girl’s weight, but the point was humiliation, the point was telling me that I was fat. She wasn’t subtle, she’d slap you right across the face. She told me I said thank you only when she’d done something for me. I was shocked by her cruelty clearly seen against another child.

I wonder if the girl upstairs remembers
my mother aggressively fat shaming a third grader
or my desperate desire to please
as I added my voice to my mothers