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His fingers smoothed over the clay

He pushed the slab away from him

He pulled it back across the workbench toward him


The thought of his mother, Alice, came like a shot of lightning

His heart ached

Suddenly he heard the sounds of traffic

She whispered to be careful about the other people on the road

He thought of the touch of her hand in his

When she died in the car on the way to the hospital.


Unable to wipe the tears that were starting to flow,

He paused

She raised nine children mostly alone.

Teaching them and loving them


The dolls are for her

His gift of love and honor

1000 clay dolls for Alice


She never had the time for beauty or quiet reflection

For trivial playful things like dolls

He made each one a monument for every part of Alice’s life


Each doll made of the earth, Alice’s strength

And the robe painted in brilliant colors

Of the rainbows she never had time to enjoy


He fashioned the small hands out of wire, strong, but delicate

The clay told him

The clay told Alice’s story

A son honored his mother

And she would live on in other people’s lives